Sunday, April 10, 2011

Exit Through the Gift Shop

Banksy... Makes you think huh?
 It looks like I'm in grave danger of becoming a theatre geek. One of those pretentious prats who turn their noses up because they spent the last $10 of their weekly student loan on theatre tickets at BATS, instead of your solid investment in a bottle of Lindauer. Who spend their Friday nights ernestly discussing the feminist interpretation of some obscurely titled play while the rest of us engage in the ever-dignified pursuit of grinding, stumbling and drunkenly screaming our way down Courtenay Place.

Yes, it appears that somehow, unbeknowst to me, I have accidentally volunteered myself as a theatre reviewer for our student magazine, Salient. And I know NOTHING about theatre. But I'm finding this entire business rather enjoyable and thought-provoking. After watching August: Osage County last Friday I found myself mulling over its themes and intensely questioning some of my assumedly fundamental values. Which all sounds very pretentious and over-zealously philosophical if you ask me.

 But regardless of what this labels me, I must admit I love the use of arts as social commentary. Last night I watched Bansky's film, Exit Through the Gift Shop, which, to be honest, is nothing short of an absolute mind-fuck. It leaves you simultaneously confused, frustrated and intrigued. Which, I think, is entirely the point. It makes some fairly major stabs right at the heart of popular culture.... or does it?
Banksy, you f'ing genius.

I admire artists in any field who aren't afraid to express their opinion and challenge the status quo. I admire artists full-stop. Art has this wonderful and subtle ability to make us think. I know alot of people who consider modern art absolute bollocks. What pretentious twat spends several thousand dollars on a blank canvas with a line through it? Right? Or maybe, as Exit Through the Gift Shop so enigmatically suggests, there's a message in that too. Maybe art is a dynamic process which are reactions are very much a part of. When we scoff at a painting, stop to investigate an usual piece of graffitti on the street or dance to a catchy tune- perhaps that response is art too? In its broadest sense, I think art is something that makes you think. And surely no one can deny that there is always some value in that.

So here I am, exhibiting all the tell-tale symptoms of theatre geek syndrome. That was a long-winded spiel about art that, quite frankly no one gives a shit about (the spiel, not the art). Prognosis: critical. All the same, I rest assured in the fact that when I do go to plays, Salient arranges me free tickets, meaning I don't ever need to sacrifice that precious bottle of Lindauer.

Here are some of my favourite Banksy works, which he painted on the West Bank barrier in Israel

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing, I really liked the second photo. :)

    The Cat Hag