2009 | 35 | 2 | 99-113
Article title

Banksy'ego/banksym walka o obiektyw turysty. Notatki o oporze w przestrzeni miasta

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Banksy's/with Banksy Struggle for Tourists' Lens. Notes on Resistance in urban Space
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Banksy is an artist addicted to the place which he tries to co-create. His works gain their very dimension precisely because of the carefully chosen location. He is a socially involved street artist, who creates his works in cities (the greatest ones) and comments upon them, making the concept of resistance ambiguous. Banksy's works visualise, discuss, and provoke reflection about public space, anesthetization, globalization, tourism, capitalism, gentrification and many more processes which constitute modern urban environment and the experience of it. Additionally, there are many different narrations (critical texts, blogs, books, museums, etc.) accompanying his works, which can be treated as illustrations of discursive mechanisms that contextualize and stabilise everyday communication. If perceiving the city as a specific communication area striving after its own syntax, then the city becomes a language, it can be read. That can be done comfortably through Banksy's works. But Banksy is interesting also because of complicating such a, though already outdated, way of thinking. His works visualise not only modern urban processes, but also the necessity to expand the understanding of a text to other culture 'grammars'. The stencil series which were an inspiration for the present reflection are simple information messages ('this is not a photo opportunity'), possibly potent not only because of their wording, but also because of their arrangement. Such like alternative instructions for photographers argue with the predominant visual formula in that they break down habitual ways of communication in cities. They complicate also the usual ways of theorising the city, which appears to be not only a space of communication between objects, but also a space of navigation between them.
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  • Maciej Frackowiak, c/o Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza, Instytut Socjologii, ul. Szamarzewskiego 89 C, 60-568 Poznan, Poland
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