Exit Through The Gift Shop—impression after watching

The movie drove me nuts. It’s very similar to Catfish, the minute you start to question whether it’s the truth or fabrication, you can’t get the idea out of your mind. You got attracted by the plots and thought what they are doing are absolutely insane, but you’d rather believe that’s what actually happened–because taking such effort to make everything up are crazier.

Going back to this movie, the title Exit Through The Gift Shop is really interesting. It could be an irony criticizing nowadays artworks are so duplicated and similar that they look like those mass produced gifts in the gift shop—and of course they are priced clearly when pricing artwork has no standard in the first place. It seems to me that this interpretation goes along with the original intention the director wants us to believe, at least on the surface, his anger and criticism towards Mr. Brainwash for stealing from other artists and gaining both fame and wealth overnight is obvious.

However, is that real? Many people have doubted about the existence of Mr. Brainwash,for his experience looks too dramatic to be true. Honestly when I watched the first half of the movie, I was totally astonished his personality(or persona). This man(Thierry, Mr. Brainwash) was so capable of following his heart, leaving everything behind and without even questioning why. Let’s assume everything is real for a minute, this man went from knowing nothing about street art, to being able to persuade the world that he is a professional. It makes a perfect example for the slogan “nothing is impossible”. No words describe it better than quote from the trailer,”street art has no rules, and Mr. Brainwash breaks them all.”

The question about originality and creativity also caught my attention. For me, I don’t consider what Mr. Brainwash did as original artwork. He didn’t come up with any original idea. By merely adding or changing elements to other people’s work, making it look different, a new art piece was freshly made. There is no way that I will agree with that.

Yet If we think about it, before becoming Mr. Brainwash, Thierry was actually brainwashed first before everyone. He was exposed to the street art, got addicted to it and then to a point he was willing to bet everything on it. Before the show he didn’t know he would get famous, he sold out everything he owned to make it happen. And then he come out on the stage, brainwashing other people to create the fad. Although in the long run, everyone will realize what it really is and move on with life, Mr. Brainwash will never be a legend again. No one gets the right to criticize. Only if we “exit through the gift shop” can we see the real picture.

Some people think this movie was Banksy’s prank, which totally make sense but we could always argue both ways. However, in the world full of knowing and not knowing, and truth and fabrication gets so blurred—I choose to  “exit through the gift shop”,  stop questioning whether it’s real or not and move on with my life.

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Exit Through The Gift Shop—impression after watching

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