HIGH ART Versus LOW CULTURE Writing Homework Help

Exit through the Gift Shop (2010) is a film by street artist Banksy that tells the story of Thierry Guetta, a French immigrant living in Los Angeles, and his obsession with street art. The film, through Thierry’s constant filming, charts the subject’s discovery that his cousin is French street artist Invader, his subsequent introduction to several other street artists – including Shepard Fairey and Banksy – and ultimately documents Thierry’s success as a street artist named Mr. Brainwash. But as Banksy points out in his opening remarks, there’s “probably a moral in there somewhere.”

For this assignment, write a minimum of two pages (500 words) addressing some combination of the following questions.

The film makes constant reference to the notion that perceived power or value often leads to real power or value. How is this articulated through Thierry’s story? How does the film’s title Exit through the Gift Shop reinforce this notion? According to the artists in the film, what are the problems with this conflation? Think specifically about the “purpose” of street art and counter culture as the voice for the masses and what happens when this art form is conflated with “gallery culture” or high art. In your opinion, can high art also be the voice of the people? Why or why not? Cite specific examples as you are able.

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