Friday, July 31, 2009

Banksy vs Bristol Museum and why it's important

On Tuesday I visited Banksy vs Bristol Museum. It was my first time in Bristol and firstly I've got to day that Bristol while obviously spending loads of money on the city centre couldn't organises a piss up in a brewery. There were loads of signs for parking but then the signs disappeared, there were no signs for the city centre, I asked a man cleaning a lamp post. And there were absolutely no signs for the Banksy exhibition.
I gave me the feeling that Bristol is ashamed of itself and a bit embarrassed by Banksy and what he's achieved. I'm sure lots of Bristol people love what he does and how he does it, but you get the feeling that whoever is running Bristol Council can't get their heads around promoting someone who they see as essentially a criminal.

Having said all that all this just plays into Banksy's hands. He loves the fact that he's so underground no one knows who he is or what he'll do next. Guess that why I love the work so much too. No fanfare, no marketing (at least overtly) just turn up and see his work for free. He's the ultimate Guerrilla Marketer.

The two hour wait in the rain was well worth it though. Three rooms full of Banksy paintings, sculptures, animatronics and audio. For me the best bits were off-piste. He'd been give free reign around the museum, so lots of time was spent hunting through dusty cabinets no one had looked at in years in search of hidden dildos in Stalagmite displays and for sale signs on the back of ancient pottery. Most of the exhibits can't ever have been looked at quite as much as while this exhibition is on.

The great thing was that photography was allowed, here's my Bansky Photo collection.

If you get a chance must must go, it's free to get in there's just the small issue of a two hour queue.

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