Ellen Loudon

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This image is a piece of graffiti by Banksy that has been painted onto a wall at the bottom of Park Street in Bristol, near the cathedral and county courts. The council wanted to remove it but a campaign by local graffiti activists successfully won a battle to keep it unsullied. I have some questions about this decision…who now is responsible for it’s maintenance? Is it now a piece of public art? Is it’s colour and texture to be preserved in the same way as say the Mona Lisa or the superlambbanana. Now I’m no critic but it seems to me that point of this defiant art is to disorientate and irritate as well as challenge perceptions about art, public and private spaces and ownership of the everyday. To preserve it seems the ultimate futile act and almost deludedly Peter Panesque. If I was Banksy or prepared to climb up a ladder I would be very tempted to spray paint over the image in an attempt to recover some sort of sense of reality. After all isn’t it supposed to be temporary, fleeting and timebound?

Liverpool City Council have decided that the infamous house rat on the corner of Berry Street and Duke Street needs to be tidied up. The building is in serious decay so they have decided to half board up the building thus covering the bottom half of the graffiti. This is so the visitors to the city don’t get upset about dereliction and decay (as if they haven’t seen it before). Many of the unused houses, shops and other buildings have been boarded up and then the boards are painted over and made to look more pleasant. This attempt to Dress Liverpool is one of the most bazaar outworkings of the Capital of Culture plan.

The BBC is running a Banksy Diary which includes some interesting personal stories about the way his work has touched the lives of ordinary people (whatever!!!) and the way to spot a Banksy (as if authetification is the point either).


Written by ellenloudon

January 25, 2008 at 10:10 am

Posted in Liverpool, stuff

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