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Exit through the Gift Shop

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This documentary has such a great title, why change the title of my blog post to something else? It asks us to question the status of the gallery or museum as the sole site for aesthetic practice. Narrated by Bristol bred artist Banksy, Exit follows videographer Thierry Guetta as he records street artists in action, including his cousin "Space Invader," whose mosaic tile recreations of vintage video game creatures can be seen around the world. If you think street art (aka graffiti) is merely senseless defacement of public spaces, you might shift your view after watching Exit. Some of the art is politically challenging ("One Nation under CCTV"), some gives viewers a chuckle, and others inspire wonderment, like the permanent shadows of objects painted on the ground. Whether you decide that Exit is a mockumentary or not you will thrill to the artists' death defying climbs on the sides of buildings, mourn their citation by often reluctant authorities, and look at your urban setting differently. Ponder as the film-maker becomes instant street art sensation "Mr. Brainwash" and leaves his former subjects, including Banksy, scratching their heads...

Further dvds to study:

The California underground art angle> Crumb

The autheticity/fine art/value angle> F for Fake

Not at CPL but free online: The Mona Lisa Curse by Robert Hughes... the contemporary- art speculation-driving up prices/autheticity angle

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