Tuesday, 16 August 2011

honest to blog..?

I watched Banksy's Exit through the Gift Shop the other day;

The basic synopsis is a guy, Thierry Guetta, videos everything, goes on holiday to see his cousin who is a graffiti artist and follows him around. He then gets into the graffiti scene and filming other artists and decides this is what he's going to film about from now on. He finds Shepard Fairey and follows him around for a bit and later finds Banksy and follows him around for a bit, eventually he decides to make a documentary from his footage, but his finished documentary is rubbish, Banksy asks to take over the documentary and suggests Thierry goes off and tries a bit of graffiti and maybe puts on a little show (he has previously been inspired to try graffiti for himself). The rest of this documentary is Thierry going completely overboard with this task, selling all his things and buying a studio, hiring graphic designers, set builders, artists to create the ideas he comes up with. He hypes up this show to the LA art scene and they go crazy for it, its a huge success (footfall wise) but those who work for him and whom he followed before all lose respect for him as he doesn't seem to understand the art, its just about the money and the specticle; to them he seems a joke, clueless.

In my opinion its a fake. I can kinda see how it could almost be real, there may be some nutters who would behave like Thierry but I recon it was Banksy making a metaphor about what the graffiti/street art scene has become; all hype and no foundations. The footage of graffiti artists seems pretty thin on the ground, judging that it says he spent eight years following graffiti artists and it seems mostly to be Shepard Fairey and Banksy. The Andy Warhol style factory he sets up and Thierry's whole look and attitude is cliched to the extreme, think of a typical artist and this is what you will see. The whole body of work looks completely like a lazy set designers idea of what 'a lot of modern art' would look like, it has no theme other than, 'that piece is bright, lets copy that.' It just looks fake to me.

Having said that, I did like the documentary. It was kinda fun initially trying to find out if it was real or fake and it shows footage of loads of graffiti being created. Thierry is an interesting guy to watch - whether he's for real or not.

All in all, if I was gonna watch a 'mocumentary' I'd watch this ten times over before I'd watch 'I'm Still Here' again!

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