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Roadsworth: Crossing the Line - DVD/Roadsworth : franchir la ligne - DVD

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ART IS ALWAYS A RISK…  

Over a period of three years, the stencil artist Peter Gibson, aka Roadsworth, made his mark on Montreal in the early hours of the morning by launching a self-described “attack on the streets.” Armed with spray paint and handmade stencils, he began to play with the language of the streets, overlaying city asphalt markings with his own images: a crosswalk became a giant boot print, vines choked up traffic dividers, and electrical plugs filled parking spots. Each piece begged the question, Who owns public space?

Roadsworth’s clandestine campaign eventually resulted in his arrest and prosecution by the city. He faced 85 counts of public mischief, fines of up to $250,000 and a criminal record. As citizens and artistic groups rallied around Roadsworth and his international reputation grew, the city became galvanized over a debate between art and authority.

Roadsworth: Crossing the Line details the artist’s prosecution at home and his travels abroad to a seaside town in France, London and Amsterdam, as he imprints himself legitimately (and illegitimately) on foreign streets. The film reflects Roadsworth’s personal struggle to defend his work, define himself as an artist and address difficult questions about art and freedom of expression.

As Roadsworth takes his place as a sanctioned public artist, he strives to find new sources of inspiration, remaining committed to producing art that holds an element of wonder for the world when it wakes. In both his public pieces and private commissions, Roadsworth continues to take the kind of risks that make his work instinctual, immediate and enigmatic. 

With Roadsworth: Crossing the Line, filmmaker Alan Kohl provides a portrait of a man who provokes debate about the significance of art in urban spaces.

 

2009, 73 min 37 s

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