Documenting the frenzy of adulation and controversy that erupted during street artist Banksy’s month-long ‘residency’ in New York, Chris Moukarbel energetically examines issues of art and ownership within the public space.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2015
With his biodoc-hijack Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010), anonymous street-art- provocateur Banksy turned the lens away from himself and onto the absurd intersections of art, commerce and hype, demystifying his own status in the process. While created without the involvement of the enigmatic artist, this recent documentation of Banksy’s month-long ‘residency’ in New York City marks itself as a compelling companion piece. Observing first hand a multitude of reactions to Banksy’s ‘exhibition’, in which a wild array of new pieces was unveiled daily at random spots throughout the city, director Chris Moukarbel captures the varying ways people respond to and interact with art, and how these processes can distort, shift and recontextualise meaning. Cataloguing an eclectic milieu of obsessive fans, condescending art critics, opportunistic hustlers and affluent collectors, this snapshot of a polarised public might just be among Banksy’s most fascinating works. — JF
“Banksy and Moukarbel raise the question of who these spontaneous acts of creativity belong to, and whether they’re ever really ‘complete’… a lively and engaging film.” — Noel Murray, AV Club