11 June 2010

Exit through the foyer

Just who is the author of the doco Exit Through The Gift Shop wonders Michael Hutak. And does it really matter?
I wanted to approach this doco with the barest of prior knowledge, to consume the film as a self-contained text, outside the frame of its marketing and pre-publicity. All I knew was it was “about” the celebrated British street artist, Banksy, and it was the hot ticket at this year’s Sydney Film Festival. I think this is where I’m meant to say: “Warning, spoiler alert!” EXIT is not overtly about Banksy at all, but is instead presented as a portrait of Thierry Guetta, video diarist of the so-called street art scene in the noughties in Europe and LA, more recently the dubious artist-come-lately dubbed “Mr Brainwash”. At least this is the surface gambit of the production. Scratch the surface and all certainty is destabilised.