Monday, 10 August 2009

part of the queue

i didn't expect to be in Bristol this past weekend

i didn't expect to be stood in a queue for three hours and forty minutes either

but this was what was necessary if you wanted to get into the Banksy vs Bristol Museum exhibition that is running until the end of August

we arrived early enough on saturday morning and thought the queue looked reasonable, until we realised it was being filtered and actualy snaked back and forth on itself in an adjoining road, and didn't end there either, crossing the road and trailing down a further, longer road

luckily my girlfriend who had planned the surprise trip had also heard horror stories of three hour waits so we were fore-warned, so, stood on the end of a ridiculous queue we formulated a plan to pass the time, we passed up on the idea of taking it in turns to sit on our own drinking in the wetherspoons opposite the museum while the other held our place in the queue and instead she let me wander off to an oxfam bookshop i'd spotted on the condition that i left her my generic mp3 player and brought back a trashy magazine detailing the latest woes of Jordan, Cheryl, Posh, et al

another thing i didn't expect (and neither did my girlfriend) was to find a Forbidden Planet store on my little wander so when i returned i was in possession of a couple of reduced graphic novels and a copy of reveal

despite the horrendous waiting time everyone seemed to be in quite good spirits as we basked in the midday sunshine, kids waited patiently, old men made hats from newspapers to shield their balding heads from the searing sun, a strategically placed ice cream van took a small fortune as practically everyone grabbed a lolly or an ice cream as the queue passed it, and i got half way through a Grant Morrison penned JLA story (which was a bargain at £4, was published just after i quit reading comics - including JLA - and carries straight on from the Aztek graphic novel i recently read) before we got to the entrance of the museum.

and once inside, the ground floor of the museum has been thrown over to Banksy with room full of a large display of stenciled canvases in Banksy's usual style and used stencils from works that have graced the streets over the past few years and another room full of disturbing 'living' creatures including a monkey, a rabbit, a number of fish and sausages and some newborn chicken McNuggets that all need to be seen to appreciate the true unsettling horror of Banksy's twisted vision and social commentary.

but the whole three story edwardian museum needs to be explored to get the full experience as a number of the sculptures, paintings and displays have been tampered with to bring them to life and give them a modern slant, all just sitting cheekily alongside the museum's usual exhibits, i still don't know if i managed to spot it all but my favourites of the ones i did find include the dildo standing proud among the stalactites and the stuffed beaver awarded a fishing trophy.

i've intentionally not mentioned absolutely everything i saw so that anyone thinking of going can experience it for themselves but i'm sure there are a number of sites that document the exhibition in greater detail, including this one i found

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