Self-destructive painting

From the complete “Girl with Red Balloons” to the broken “Love in the Trash”,

Banks ridiculed the usual artistic aesthetics and ways of viewing. Self-destructive behavior after creation,

It subverts the aesthetic habits of the audience separating the painting from the frame, and the rigid concept that the artistic process has ended when the painting is completed.

On October 5th, London time, the Banks painting “The Girl Holding a Red Balloon” won the “British Favorite Art Work” award. When Sotheby’s auction house will be sold for £1.042 million, it will “self-destruct”. “Small shredder in the picture frame. The main part of the painting was broken into paper strips, which caused the audience to exclaim. Subsequently, Banks announced that the shredder was installed before the paintings were handed over to the auction house a few years ago.

The behind-the-scenes “real murderer” of this strategy is to be diligent in creation and to courageously create a mysterious artist who resists mainstream discourse.

You never know Banks
Who is Banks? An identity mysterious street artist.

Banks, rumored to be a youth born in Bristol, England in the 1970s. In the 1990s, he participated in the underground rock band, and at the same time disregarded the statute restrictions of “deliberately destroying other people’s property”, he created his own template graffiti on the streets of London.

From the millennium to the present, street graffiti under the name “Banks” and the paper drawing that he is said to have been redrawn by himself have become household names. Not only that, the name of Banks is often seen in major art exhibitions, construction industry and social activities.

Banks’s “Girl with Red Balloons” was once the first prize in the “British favorite art work” in the TV voting campaign organized by South Korea’s Samsung Group and London Public Relations. As an artist, Banks himself has won the “Global Artists Keyword Search Top 300” on the artnet website.

In the Banks-made documentary “The Talent Outside the Gallery”, which was nominated for the 2011 Oscar for Best Documentary Award, the camera followed the protagonist on the streets of London, where he explored the true identity of Banks. The hidden protagonist is permanently absent from the image of the lens, but the language world of the lens always exists: the peer said, “You can never know who he is,” the art exhibition organizer said, “I contacted him online. Although I was reluctant at first, I still did what he said.”

From Bristol, the southwestern city of England, to street artists who are well-known in the UK, from the shadow young people who practice British street culture to the documentary filmmakers who almost got an Oscar award, Banks relies on his heretical stance of rebelling against mainstream culture. And as always, the calm, sympathetic and calm artistic position behind the ridicule, has declared war on the thinking inertia and political form of all structural factors that attempt to position the individual life experience, thus winning the people’s love.

At first, he appeared in the propaganda media with the typical hippie appearance: wearing a gray hooded sweater forever, wearing a mask, is very suitable for the anti-mainstream style of British street youth after the war. The popularity of everyday casual sportswear originated from the hip-hop culture of African Americans – it has become a core component of mainstream music and the global music economy in Europe and the United States, and this type of collocation itself is intended to emphasize the distance between the office and the school premises. Identification in suits and uniforms.

While demonstrating the aesthetic orientation of mainstream art, Banks draws a line with the mainstream class values ​​of capitalist society. His incomprehensible identity and the image of a squirrel that has disappeared without a trace, to the audience of art, and even to the world to claim his loneliness: he does not belong to any group, nor to any particular group.

In order to hide self-identity, in the case of Banks, his understanding of the current state of culture and the environment is very thorough. The key words of current cultural studies are still divided according to class, species/nation, and gender. Therefore, although the post-industrial society has evolved towards individualization and diversification since the 1970s, the social and subcultural fields are relatively scattered, but ubiquitous. The judgement of the eyes always tries to simplify one side to the other. The most brief approach is to connect the counter-mainstream cultural group with the class situation at the bottom of the society, and even take it for granted that there is a “formal homology” between the two.

What Banks practiced by concealing identity is the resistance to this stereotype of thinking and its stereotypes: the active fuzzification of social identity is not only a rejection of social division of labor and structural functions, but also a rejection of any A type of label that expresses the inertia of the subject and style.

Artistic dictatorship
Disengaged from all groups, Banks’s face was not known after tightening the hood of the hat. At the same time, another special label was formed – “It seems that we are all ‘Bankes!'” said the European Contemporary Art Director at Sotheby’s.

Banks’ painting “The Girl Holding a Red Balloon” was “self-destructed” in the small shredder in the frame. After being interpreted by the media as “the separation of independent artists and capital”, this painting is not really Losing his own economic value; on the contrary, it was re-named “Love in the Trash” and the final transaction price was still £1,042,000.

I can think of August this year, Banks said through social networking Instagram that he did not authorize the Moscow Central Art Museum to display his graffiti. At the same time, his explanatory text also expressed his disdain for money: “This exhibition has nothing to do with me. I will not let people spend money to see my graffiti.”

If the unique halo of art is taken into account in the market environment of capital operation, its artistic characteristics will be externalized into economic benefits in terms of volume in the form of democratic bidding. If the audience and the media only naively believe that Banks is rebellious against this quantitative aesthetic, then Banks is not what the art director said is “Banks.”

The rebellion of commodity fetishism began with the artistic critique of the Frankfurt School represented by Benjamin and Adorno in the early 20th century, and it continued to expand its connotation for nearly a century. The concept of materialization and alienation has long been a concept innovation of rebellious, frontier and counter-mainstream in modern people’s minds. They have become a kind of “consensus” and shared by all individuals in the same social and economic structure.

As a front-line art creator, Banks can’t understand that the mainstream values ​​have a strong ability to absorb the heterosexual subculture, enough to make the counter-dominant Bohemian represented by “white blacks” in just 20 years. The heterogeneous youth of culture changed the bottom of the society and became the largest group in the music capital market.

Therefore, Banks’s individual art/anti-art creation practice is not so much a rebellious rebellion—against the objectification of art into ordinary goods, rather than a double irony of performance art: from the complete “handheld red balloon” “Girl” to the broken “Love in the Trash”, Banks ridiculed the usual artistic aesthetics and viewing style; self-destructive behavior after creation, in addition to trying to establish through the whole process from “standing” to “breaking” In addition to a new painting, it also subverts the aesthetic habits of the audience separating the painting from the frame, and the rigid concept that the artistic process has ended when the painting is completed, trying to let everyone witness the realization of this hegemony–artist works The dictatorship, from the material, the form to the connotation, from the past, the present to the future, is effective and comprehensive in all aspects. No matter whether the way of executing power is mainstream or counter-mainstream, it only obeys the artist’s own wishes.

Really do whatever you want?
We are all played by Banks’ “Blanks” art. There is an insurmountable gap between his artistic actions and our usual aesthetic approach.

The audience feels that they are puppets. In the artist’s one-call, they are summoned to “stunned” emotions and break away from the daily, stable and continuous rhythm. The testimony of the moment of destruction of the work is the moment of off-rail from the inertia of thinking; the artist himself, then no longer hides behind the work, he directly intervenes in the aesthetic process, exerting hegemony on the artwork At the same time, it is also a time to exert hegemony on the audience. Although only the moment of “shock” formed, this time, Banks, in the dull eyes of the world, became the real subject of freedom, and he was able to do whatever he wanted.

In the face of watching and being watched, we must have enough vigilance. As an artist who is a viewer, an artist with authoritarian power, is he really free? Is the audience who is repeatedly played and played out of the daily numbness really a puppet?

Paul E. Willis visited several members of the drug-addicted hippie and motorcycle boy groups. When the respondents were asked about the effects of drugs, their answer was: “You can take drugs and cross this You will no longer be limited by the way you understand the world.” When the way of perception of the experience or aesthetic subject is changed, it crosses the original self-boundary and opens up new cognitive methods.

In this sense, Banks’ paintings, like drugs, can be seen as a cultural placebo. They are the key to unlocking the subject’s experience, not the experience itself.

If drug use can enhance perception and enhance the freedom of consciousness, then the unique artistic means of Banks will lead the audience to another aesthetic way, and also “benefit” the moment when the painting is broken into paper. Shock: The individual temporarily saw the contradiction and dialectics between freedom and limitation—

From feeling that the self is an arbitrarily determined actor, to feeling that the self is only a determined variable in the world, and the subject moves it in situ to an invisible place, then freedom means not being the original superficial society. The structural power is around, because the subject does not have to bear any responsibility in the state of ecstasy. At this moment, the artist Banks took full responsibility, he must bear the possible consequences of the action (the painting can not be sold, criticized, etc.), he is not free.

Even Banks, which advertises art and advertises itself in a rebellious and outrageous manner, has gradually become a spokesperson for style and art genre. When Robert Del-Naia, the lead singer of the “Big Attack” orchestra, was suspected of being the Banks deity behind the mask, Robert first denied this statement, and then told the audience at the concert in Bristol:

“We are all Banks.”

Let Banks’ true identity always be a wonderful enigma, creating a personal mystery, rebelling aesthetics, and endorsing public conscience.