The Swedish Art World has been hopping ever since Swedish Television announced that Banksy would hold an exhibition in Stockholm. At one o'clock today, on Hudiksvallsgatan a strange man blew in a whistle and the fake exhibition opened. Fake? Yes, well Banksy's publicist Jo Brooks told the newspapers on Friday that it was fake, which means that not a single Swedish journalist called the publicist when they received the press release, instead they went ahead and printed the news, cabled it out on TT news cables, and had short clips on the evening national news . Which isn't surprising, considering the state of journalism - and in particular Swedish journalism - today, so if that could be counted on, is the exhibition a fake or is the fake exhibition the exhibition idea in itself? Augh! My head hurts.
But Brooks, who has long handled public and media relations for the British artist, was adamant that Banksy had no involvement with the show and was not coming to Stockholm.
“Whoever’s behind it is just doing this to get publicity, it’s pretty obvious to me,” she told The Local.
She added that she was “surprised” that not one Swedish journalist had contacted her since the story broke in Sweden on Tuesday.
“I haven’t gotten a single call about this,” she said.
Repeat, not a single call. Because why follow up and insure the accuracy of a press release when we are all competing on getting it out first, right?
Update, some people are now considering the hashtag #BanskyinStockholm to be a work of art in itself, a nudge to people that the really should be media critical at all times. Sounds like assigning meaning to something after the fact to me, but whatever floats your boat.
Meanwhile, The Culture News report that Tobias Barenthin Libdblad "guesses" that established street artists are behind the stunt and "possibly Banksy as well". In short, everyone has been interviewed except Banksy.
Tobias Barenthin Libdblad gissar att det är välkända svenska gatukonstnärer som ligger bakom. Kanske Banksy också. #banksyinstockholm
— Kulturnyheterna SVT (@KULTURNYHETERNA) March 23, 2014
— Roberto Garcia (@ImRoberto) March 23, 2014
New word of the day alert: Pranksy