Director: Banksy | 2010 | UK | 87 minutes
First, channel your inner Banksy to decorate a “kidrobot” inspired vinyl rabbit figure while enjoying wine and a DJ in the museum rotunda. Then watch Exit Through the Gift Shop, which tells the story of a French shopkeeper turned amateur filmmaker named Thierry Guetta who starts filming street artists around Paris and begins a search for the anonymous legend Banksy.
World-renowned British street artist Banksy steps away from his usual politically radical graffiti art and creates his debut film Exit Through the Gift Shop. In the film, Guetta films famous graffiti artists such as Space Invader, Borf and eventually meets Banksy himself. Exit Through the Gift shop features interviews with the blurred-out face of Banksy and satirizes the modern art world in a tongue-in-cheek and visually stimulating way.
Jeannette Catsoulis at the New York Times writes, “Spanning almost a decade and several continents, Exit tells of Mr. Guetta’s infiltration of the secretive world of street artists, greased by his cousin, the Parisian artist Space Invader, and a video-camera obsession. Claiming to be a filmmaker, this diminutive Frenchman becomes the unlikely accomplice of a movement whose members have a vandal’s fear of recording devices, accumulating thousands of hours of tape and landing a coveted introduction to Banksy.”
There has been much speculation about the authenticity of this documentary and some believe it is an elaborate con fabricated by the illusive Banksy. In response to these remarks, Catsoulis at the New York Times writes “Whether acting as a genuine friend or constructing an elaborate long con, Banksy has clearly found a new canvas for his provocations. Scrutinizing the commodification of street art and the lemming-like behavior of many enthusiasts (including those who pay millions for his own work), Banksy mischievously exfoliates the next-big-thing hunger and the posers who pursue it.”
Tickets are available online until 2:30 pm the day of the screening or 2:30 pm on Friday for weekend matinees. Tickets are also available at Visitor Services, or by calling 901.544.6208 during regular business hours. Unsold tickets are also available in the rotunda immediately preceding a screening.