By Sweep 21 Comments
Sooooooo, I just got back from the Mr Brainwash exhibition in London. I wasn't planning on going because I knew it would just piss me off, but a bunch of people from work wanted to go so I sort of just tagged along. I left after about 20 minutes. I'm not going to lie, I was pretty angry.
For those who don't know, Mr Brainwash [Real name: Thierry Guetta] was a cameraman who tricked a lot of graffiti artists, including Banksy, into letting him follow them around and film them working for a supposed "Documentary" that he was making. In actual fact he was working on no such project. He wasn't even keeping track of what he was filming. Banksy once said:
"Uhmmm... You know... it was at that point that I realized that maybe Thierry (Mr Brainwash) wasn't actually a film maker, and he was maybe just someone with mental problems who happened to have a camera."
If you haven't seen the film then I strongly recommend you seek out a copy, it's very funny, though probably not intentionally.
After Banksy found out that he wasn't actually making a film, he sent him away to make some of his own graffiti. The result was.... well.... bad.
"Yeah, I was faced with that terrible thing, when somebody shows you their work and everything about it is shit... so... you don't really know where to start." - Banksy
So yeah, I popped along to this exhibition of... well, shit.
It's a guy who rented out a warehouse, sprayed paint on a load of random junk and then announced it was art. And, while it made me really angry, I also kind of enjoy how fucked up that is.
The thing is, the work has no substance. There's nothing there. There's no message. There's no pleasing aesthetic, or mental stimulation. There's no plan. There's transparently no plan. It's almost patronising, with Union Jacks made out of empty spray cans. BECAUSE WE'RE IN ENGLAND, RIGHT?! It's like a graffiti ad campaign by the fucking Halifax. Mr Brainwash is essentially the Paris Hilton of contemporary art.
"Warhol repeated iconic images until they became meaningless, but there was still something iconic about them. Thierry really makes them meaningless." - Banksy
The big debate is over how self-aware this guy is.
Does he actually know what he's doing? Is he deliberately attempting to undermine the foundations of artistic integrity by deliberately being completely shit? Or is he just completely shit? Either way, the warehouse was full of punters who were obviously enjoying it, so he seems to be winning. Right? I don't know.
I kinda like not knowing. Because if it turns out that he really is an absolute moron who has shamelessly conned all these people into thinking he is an artist... well.... I don't want to live on this planet anymore.
"I think the joke is on... I don't know who the joke's on - really. I don't even know if there is a joke." - Steve Lazarides
One thing is for sure.
If Banksy was right and this guy actually might know what he's doing, then I just got trolled so fucking hard.
Thanks for reading