Dir. Banksy
(2010, R, 85 min)
★ ★ ★ ★

There has been speculation about whether Exit Through the Gift Shop, directed by a mysterious street artist known as Banksy, is fact or fiction. Banksy himself is an elusive figure, anonymous, and much of his art seems to be about itself, created to be seen and to comment on the seeing; our reactions are his canvas. But after watching the film the question of reality seems irrelevant. Either way it’s about the same thing: the intangible nature of art, which may be created with thoughtless delusion yet be valued as a work of genius. Why? Because we’ve been convinced that it is, we convince ourselves, and then we convince each other. The art of this film is showing how art may be a blank page; whether a work of painstaking discipline or the hapless fumbling of a dilettante, if we imbue it with meaning it has meaning, and if we do not it does not. So whether Exit Through the Gift Shop is true or a complete fabrication is beside the point. Art itself is a joke, and the joke is always on us … Read the rest of my review at Culturazzi.org.

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