Exit Through The Gift Shop * Banksy (2010)

“Exit Through The Gift Shop” is a documentary about a maker of a documentary that he never wanted to make. Thierry Guetta is a person obsessed with filming and through a cousin of his, he stumbles upon the underground world of street art. Street art is mere graffiti taken a step further. Using different techniques streets artist go way beyond merely spraying tags or images against walls. With silkscreen, paint, posters and later anything that came to their minds, street artists started to enlighten the streets with critical and sometimes thought-provoking images. Since polluting public space is of course not legal (no matter it is just rubbish or regarded as art by some), the emerging street art scene is an underground movement. Guetta got some of the most famous artists to allow him to film them while they were working. He keeps saying that he wants to make a documentary about street art, but he never really wanted anything more than just recording what he saw. When eventually the most famous and most elusive street artist Banksy more or less forces Guetta to become a street artist himself, hyping himself in LA as Mr. Brainwash, Banksy took up the task of going through the thousands and thousands of tapes and create the documentary himself. Some people think that the whole Guetta story is a hoax set up by Banksy. “Exit Through The Gift Shop” starts as an interesting view into “the biggest subversive subculture since punk”, but later shifts towards the exploitation of street art in the normal art scene and Guetta creating his own hype. It is thus a critical documentary which is a nice watch.

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