Banksy art performance

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.
Jonathan Townsend
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Banksy art performance

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 6th, 2018, 1:28 pm

https://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/so ... at-auction
That looks like a great use for the shredder prop.
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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Banksy art performance

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 6th, 2018, 2:55 pm

It's not a shredding "prop." He genuinely shredded his own painting.
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Re: Banksy art performance

Postby Dick Koornwinder » October 7th, 2018, 12:30 pm


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Re: Banksy art performance

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 7th, 2018, 1:42 pm

The shredder is not plugged in, therefore it must have a battery pack inside the frame as well as batteries for the wireless receiver to activate it. Do these types of batteries last for years with no use?

It seems fishy to me.
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Re: Banksy art performance

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 7th, 2018, 7:12 pm

It got Banksy into thew news and art into the headlines.
*
Thinking as a magician - a shredder prop in a frame... has possibilities.
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Re: Banksy art performance

Postby Jack Shalom » October 7th, 2018, 7:20 pm

The NY Times article listed a couple of facts which cast doubt on Sotheby's claim that they weren't aware of what was going to happen:

1) The piece was displayed hanging, rather than on a platform like other pieces;

2) It was, conveniently for Sotheby's, the last piece scheduled to be auctioned. Had it been in the middle, subsequent buyers might have been reluctant to bid on later items.

3) Those who handled the transportation and display of the item beforehand should have been able to feel the extra weight of the frame.

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Re: Banksy art performance

Postby JHostler » October 7th, 2018, 8:38 pm

Regardless of who was aware of what exactly when... this was a brilliant piece of theater. Has the winning bidder's identity hit the news yet?
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Re: Banksy art performance

Postby Roger M. » October 7th, 2018, 10:51 pm

Everything that Jack mentioned PLUS a giant slot in the bottom, which one could look up into and see the shredder blades.

A total cook-up between Banksy and Sothebys ... and it did what it was supposed to do, which is garner headlines around the world.

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Re: Banksy art performance

Postby Marco Pusterla » October 8th, 2018, 3:27 am

This was an interesting and spectacular performance, and I don't know is Sotheby's was "in it", but I think it would be good to clear some misconceptions and propose a view on "how did he do it", as the method behind this demonstration uses some principles of deception that have been used in similar form in magic.

A few people asked themselves whether a battery hidden in the frame in 2006 could have worked in 2018. Of course it could, but why risking it? The battery was replaced before the auction. If you check the various press releases, auction catalogue and stories, you will see that the picture was authenticated by "PestControl", the only company able to authenticate Bansky's work. As PestControl is closely associated to Bansky, it is the first suspect for somebody that could have replaced the batteries. To check and validate the picture, it will have had to be removed from the frame, checked under a microscope/special lights, etc. The checking of the picture was pure misdirection (but it was necessary to legitimately authenticate it), and would have been the perfect reason to change the batteries. This stratagem has been used in magic for centuries: Houdini himself had a "committee" to check his cabinet, and quite often a member of the committee would have left inside the necessary tools to affect the escape. Some other times, when magicians have committees to check apparatus, somebody there is used to activate the trick.

All the paintings in the sale were displayed hanging: the sale only had 40 paintingsand these were hanging around the room in Sotheby's gallery. The Bansky one was not the only one hanging: I don't where the NYT has got its information.

There are a couple of things that cast a doubt on Sotheby's being "in it" and these are the strong relevance given to the frame in the auction catalogue. In the description, you find: mounted on board, in artist's frame and in the long description: Bordered by an ornate gilded frame, an integral element of the artwork chosen by Banksy himself. If it can be proven that Sotheby's was in it (which is difficult, as the text could have been written by somebody following a press release from the artist), this could be the classical give-away that plagues inexperienced magicians when they say: I have here an ordinary, unprepared deck of cards. We (should) learn to guide the attention of the audience to some elements, while leaving others in the shadow... it doesn't seem to have been the case here.

About the Bansky being the last item in the sale, this just makes sense, as Bansky was probably the best-known name (outside the art world) and, as in every good show, the "star" comes on at the end. Also, while this picture sold for relatively little money, compared to other pictures in the same sale and in the one immediately before, this specific image is very well known, so it would have made sense to keep it for last. And this is another item that raises the suspicion of Sotheby's being "in it".

I think this was a nice magic trick that has gone viral: well done to all parties involved for creating something memorable using our techniques!
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Re: Banksy art performance

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 9th, 2018, 4:19 pm

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesig ... atest-work
TL;DR - the words "price realized" come to mind. ;)
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Re: Banksy art performance

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 9th, 2018, 5:35 pm

Roger M. wrote:Everything that Jack mentioned PLUS a giant slot in the bottom, which one could look up into and see the shredder blades.


THIS!
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Re: Banksy art performance

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 9th, 2018, 6:32 pm

Marco Pusterla wrote:This was an interesting and spectacular performance, and I don't know is Sotheby's was "in it"...
Art becomes performance art. Maybe there's a "making of" documentary / caper film plot in there too. Bravo Banksy :)

It would be nice to read some from the people who were present.

As conceptual art... Consider a hand painted but suspicious package left in venue. Should it be ticking or have flashing LEDs? And are remote display video cameras part of the piece or considered like the frame around a picture?
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Re: Banksy art performance

Postby John Tudor » October 31st, 2018, 12:21 pm

There is a precedent for self destructing art. For the opening of the Museum of Modern Art's sculpture garden (1960), the Swiss artist Jean Tinguely created “Homage to New York.” The huge motorized contraption (which incorporated a bathtub, a player piano, drums, a go-kart, a weather balloon, and other stuff) was designed to demolish itself. A large party crowd watched its' self destruction. The sculpture caught fire, and the fire department had to shut down the things before it had completely destroyed itself.
"Ars longa, vita brevis." (Life is short, the art so long to learn) -Hippocrates

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Re: Banksy art performance

Postby Joe Mckay » October 31st, 2018, 3:40 pm

The ultimate act of self-destruction in art was when the pop act the KLF set fire to a million pounds.

I wrote about it on my blog awhile ago.

https://dannysmindblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/11/conceptual-art-or-performance-art/


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