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Banksy: Slave Labour

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Christina Henke

on 2 March 2014

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Transcript of Banksy: Slave Labour

Banksy: Slave Labour
born in Bristol in 1974 (?)
world-famous, anonymous British graffiti artist
has a distinctive style of highly recognizable images
communicates antiauthoritarian messages
2010 Time Magazine: among 100 most influential persons
famous for extraordinary campaigns
Do you consider Banksy's graffiti as art or vandalism?

Is it part of a counterhegemonic culture?

"Art Prankster Sprays Israeli Wall."
BBC News
. BBC, 08 May 2005. Web. 22 Feb. 2014. <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/4748063.stm>

Barker, Chris, and Paul E. Willis. Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice. Los Angeles: Sage Publications, 2012. Print.

Hebdige, Dick.
Subculture, the Meaning of Style
. London: Methuen, 1979. Digital.

Lanik, Smon. Der Einfluss Von Subkulturen Auf Die Werbung Anhand Von Guerilla Advertising. Diss. Universität Wien, 2009. Wien: Universität Wien, 2009. Digital.

Lyall, Sarah. "Borough Searches for Missing Boy, Last Seen on Wall." The New York Times, 28 Feb. 2013. Web. 22 Feb. 2014. <http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/01/world/europe/give-us-our-banksy-mural-back-londoners-say.html?pagewanted=all&_r=2&>

Mancoff, Debra N. "Banksy."
Encyclopedia Britannica Online
. Encyclopedia Britannica, 29 Oct. 2013. Web. 22 Feb. 2014. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1370892/Banksy>

O'Neill, Brendan. "Backstory: A London Scene Set by Guerilla Art." The Christian Science Monitor, 09 Jan. 2007. Web. 22 Feb. 2014. <http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0109/p20s01-alar.html>

"The 2010 TIME 100."
. Time Inc. Web. 22 Feb. 2014. <http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/completelist/0,29569,1984685,00.html>

subculture as a whole way of life
notions of distinctiveness and difference from the dominant/mainstream society
resistance to the dominant culture
functions of subcultures:
magical solutions for socio-economic problems
offering a collective identity
leisure activities in contrast to school and work
Hebdige: principles of conjuncture and specificity: "a particular response to a particular set of circumstances"
General information about Banksy and Slave Labour
Definition of Street Art
Street Art as Subculture
Banksy's work as counterhegemonic movement?
Discussion Questions
Slave Labour
Street Art
Israeli West Bank
barrier, August 2005
Chalk Farm, London, 2007
painted on a wall in Wood Green, London 2012
probably protest against the use of sweatshops for the Diamond Jubilee and London Olympics souvenirs
disappeared in February 2013
turned up at a contemporary art auction in Miami soon after
valued at $500,000 to $700,000
art in urban, public spaces (mostly graffiti)
no commercial use
illegal, officially vandalism
no external boundaries between the image and the environment --> surface is fundamental
focuses on cause and effect more than on the material itself
Street Art as Subculture
hegemony vs. counterhegemony
Gramsci: "Culture [...] encompasses a range of ideologies and cultural forms." (Barker and Willis 66)
hegemony: certain ideology becomes dominant through force and consent
but: hegemony is unstable --> gets challenged by counter-hegemonic blocs
street art as counterhegemonic movement
criticism of exploitation/government
illegal art
in public space --> no commercial use
illegal exhibition of art in museums
But: Is it really counterhegemonic?
pieces of arts valued at $500,000 to $700,000 --> part of the very same system he criticizes
auctions and the media reinforce his popularity
Where is the line between subculture as resistance and commercial culture as hegemony ?
Banksy's work as counterhegemonic movement
street art in general a subculture and counterhegemonic movement
however, blurred line between subculture/counterhegemony and commercial, hegemonic culture
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