Watch Banksy’s New Documentary ‘The Antics Roadshow’
Engaged street artist Banksy comes back under the spotlight with his new documentary ‘The Antics Roadshow‘, aired Saturday night in the U.K. on Channel 4, and that showcased a light introduction to the art of rebellion that individuals or groups have been using for many years to protest against established rules, whether it’d be under the form of an innocent prank or via strong and clear political actions.
The documentary opens with footage of the riots that has been taking place in England for the past weeks as a sarcastic voice narrates:
Britain, 2011, and the kids are revolting. But it wasn’t always like this. In the good old days, a week or two ago, people didn’t just take to the streets to take stuff. They took to the streets to give something back.
These are the stories of people who’ve taken on the authorities and brought chaos to the streets. But in a good way.
If you think the introduction is any indication of Banksy’s opinion about the riots in London, wait to watch the rest of the documentary. The artist who has managed to hide his identity for years keeps blurring the lines by adding layers of sarcasm over layers of sarcasm, as if to say that nothing should be taken too seriously, not even the people who take to the streets ‘to give something back’.
The first ‘case-study’ follows French pranker Remi Gaillard who is absurdly dubbed by an English native faking a half-french/half-something-else accent, undermining Gaillard’s credibility and pranking the pranker.
A good introduction to the genre, the documentary, mainly because of its length, lacks depth and only give a superficial vision of what, who and why these people rise up against their society and its rules. Several short sequences show footage of interventions without comments or additional information, leaving the viewer wondering and hoping for more.
Watch the documentary and find below a partial list of the countries and artists covered in The Antics Roadshow:
Belgium: Noel Godin and his famous pies to prank powerful men and women around the world.
In 1996, four women in England decided to protest against the genocide in East Timor fed by British arms supply and smashed an army jet supposed to deliver the arms, facing prison sentence.
2000: Reclaim the Streets, a collective of environmentalists and campaigners with the aim to take back the streets for people gave birth to the Churchill Mohawk during the Parliament Square gardening day.
1975: The Free George Davis campaign that rallied hundreds of civilians protesting against Davis’ arrest and 20 years sentence and got him freed after 20 months.
Nick Flynn, an unfortunate visitor in a museum who tripped on his shoelace and broke ancient vase.
France: Remi Gaillard (see above)
Princesse Hijab who paints veils on adds in the Parisian subway.
Iraq: Journalist Munthadhar al-Zaidi famous shoe throwing to George W. Bush.
Russia: Voina, radical Russian Art Group that painted a giant 65 m long phallus on the Liteyny drawbridge pointing directly to headquarters of the formerKGB in 2010 to protest against police corruption.
United States: Improv Everywhere a contemporary group in New-York City, widely known for their ‘Frozen Grand Central‘ project where 200 performers freeze in place for 5 minutes at the exact same moment in Grand Central.
Joey Skaggs, notorious prankster since the 60s, pushing people to question their believes.
The Yes Men, who gained worldwide fame with their fake press statement on the BBC in 2004 during the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, and where they affirmed that Dow Chemical Co was accepting full responsibility for the catastrophe and would spend 12 billion dollars to fully compensate the Indian victims.