To absolutely no one’s surprise, the world renowned, stridently anonymous street artist Banksy didn’t attend Sunday’s world premiere of his debut film, Exit Through the Gift Shop. But he did pass along a message that Festival Director John Cooper read aloud to the audience before the screening. Taking the form of a note inside of a note, the short message managed to cleverly set the table for the shifty, willfully snarled take on art, truth, and legitimacy that followed. Here’s the full content of Banksy’s missive:
Unfortunately the director of the next feature cannot be with us tonight. But I’ve been asked to read the following message from Mr. Banksy.
Ladies and Gentlemen and publicists,
Trying to make a movie that truly conveys the raw thrill and expressive power of art is very difficult. So we haven’t bothered. Instead this is simply an everyday tale of life, longing, and mindless vandalism. Everything you are about to see is true, especially the bits where we all lied. Thanks for coming, please don’t give away the ending on Twitter, and please don’t try copying any of this stuff at home. Wait until you get to work.
And in case you would like another example of Banksy's mysterious presence at the Festival, here are some "alleged" Banksy tags that have appeared in Park City: