EXTRA EXTRA, BANKSY Does New York
MDC is pleased to be attending the Banksy Does New York premiere later this evening and to see our MDC clips featured in the documentary.
What a perfect use of the medium: a documentary premieres on HBO next Monday (Nov 17), filled with user-generated images about the stealth artist Banksy, whose images turned up in New York, fleetingly, and who counts on viewers’ reactions becoming part of his works. The experience of watching “Banksy Does New York” moves viewers to ask the same questions the artist poses: what is art, how does impermanence contribute or change the experience, what is the monetary value of an artwork? A cynic would argue, what good is putting street art on film or on the internet when it’s meant to be experienced in person, and only for a limited time?
Ultimately, though, what great fun, in a scavenge-hunter way, is this artist’s hit-and-run work? We should all have access via television.
Banksy, an elusive British street artist, political activist and satirist, is perhaps best known for his stenciled graffiti work and his film, “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” Among his notable works are a series of images at the Israeli West Bank Barrier, protesting the wall.
“Banksy Does New York,” and premiering Monday, Nov. 17 on HBO (9 p.m.), chronicles the month-long experiment during which Banksy announced he would post one unique piece or exhibit per day in an undisclosed place around New York. The resulting social media frenzy and mad dash to locate the day’s Banksy before it could be taken down or defaced is charted in the film. Pieces appeared in all five boroughs, treating subjects as diverse as Iraq and animal cruelty, in forms ranging from stencil to performance art to sculpture.
The thrill of the chase comes through in the film — another reason why it’s worth viewing the artworks in a documentary after the fact even if we weren’t on the street in the moment.