the amazing story of the three Banksy claimants – AUSTRALIAN GALLERIES, Sydney Sept.3 – 22
Evolution is an adaption to enviroment, what happens when all enviroments have air conditioning, when food, medicine and clothes are flown in from other enviroments and when the same TV and music and film are experienced everywhere? What happens when people can drive, train, fly to other enviroments? Where does all that evolutionary energy go when there are no longer predators and prey, no longer dangerous climates to adapt to?
In the years between 1582-1591 there were at least 3 people claiming to be the 3rd son of Ivan the Terrible – Prince Dimitry. Before there were photographs and newspapers imposture was pretty easy and many people pretended to be princes and kings and queens and princesses until the original turned up or they were found out. While dangerous if you got caught it was considered a reasonable career for lesser nobles and even for the well-educated middle class. An imposture could travel the country getting free meals, accommodation, gifts and occasionally collect rents and for a time a wife or mistress.
In May 2012 in Hosier Lane, Melbourne there was the case of the three Banksy claimants (three street/graffiti artists) who claimed to be the faceless street artist Banksy.
Evolution is now an arms race between deception and lie detection, a struggle between finding biographical solutions (LIES) to counter systemic reality (TRUTH). People, through imposture (lying), are working their way up the evolutionary ladder. Truth is heavy and can be a burden while climbing the ladder. Lies are light and easily disposable, and therefore more adaptable. As our environments become both physically and culturally the same so too do the top rungs of the evolutionary ladder. Everyone is “imposturing” their way to be the same person.
As if by putting a microphone in front of someone makes them worth listening to (and a rung higher on the evolutionary ladder), so too does having your work seen by the public make you worth knowing (and a rung higher). Hosier Lane for street artists is the shortest evolutionary ladder with the fewest rungs.
In the centre of the picture there are the three Banksy claimants being examined by experts. They look through the claimant’s drawings and notes but it is the lie detector- polygraph, lurking behind them which will decide the matter. Polygraphs fill the streets like telephone boxes once did, and their paper read outs are at first like telephone lines in the air and then like streamers on the ground.
Animals are the first to respond to evolutionary needs and they have moved into Hosier Lane. Crocodiles disguise themselves as big skip bins so as to be regularly receive the attention of the public. Giraffes stretch themselves to look like electric poles and stick out their tongues to impersonate the wires so that birds will sit on them and be licked into the giraffes’ mouths. Snakes swarm into Hosier Lane and they form themselves into groups, so they can impersonate tags and graffiti patterns so as to be photographed and elevated up the evolutionary ladder. What looks like flowers hung in garlands from the sky are birds, which have evolved in to half flowers to catch pollinating insects. Those birds, with better lie detectors, see the snakes impersonating graffiti and feed on the snakes’ greater protein. The sky is full of fake graffiti being flown away by colourless birds.
Inside the Forum Theatre, accompanied by world famous pianola players, mothers queue up for their chance to move up the ladder via a microphone. Their babies circle them in confused panic trying to recognise their own mothers, as the mothers evolve into the same person in front of them. Behind the Forum Theatre at Flinders Street Station fathers queue up to steal superior lost luggage so they can dupe their way up the evolutionary ladder. On the train platforms the passengers waiting are truly believing their own lies as they look only at their own clocks which are different from every other clock, and so their wait is frustrating and endless. Others try to follow recipes timed with their clock only – to be engulfed in burning smoke. Back in Hosier Lane the day that was once all about you – the wedding day – has tip trucks impersonating luxury cars queuing up, then tipping wedding parties into, Hosier Lane for their obligatory photos in front of fake graffiti.
The entire landscape is littered with the wooden planks of advertising billboards – the skeletal remains of industrial imposture – they are being re-used and re-used in different billboards and like a lie they are ever increasingly complicating themselves. A baby climbs a rickety ladder to feed a skinny billboard model. Karate suits with black-belts are sold on every street corner, like professional soccer tops sold at the Victoria Market they grow from the ground like toadstools. The Melbourne Zoo is full of stuffed toy animals instead of real animals as they are easier to maintain and the visitors like their predictability
Brightly coloured lures decorate the landscape, fish leave the water in order to chase down a truckload of them. There is a runway show of the latest fashion lures and people hang proudly from the latest most fashionable lures to have deceived and hooked them. They love the lures not because they believe the lie but because they recognise the lie.
please visit http://artsy.net/artist/banksy.