Bank Robbers

Steal, stolen, stealing for a “Three-penny Opera”

installationTwo channel video

by Danilo Torre



Seventh Commandment: You shall not steal.

Breaking the law can generally be a mistake, but sometimes we cannot keep ourselves from doing it, in life as well as in the artistic field. The bank treasures always put wings to our imagination, but no crime as a bank robbery meets a lot of sympathy.


We can consider the bank robbery as a well covered and discussed topic. Often it is described with an overproduction of images, by the news, but even more by the movies, so that it ends up by constituting a genre itself.  Indeed, many films were shot to build the myth of robberies’ “authors”: Bonnie and Clyde, the Dalton brothers, Dillinger. Strange is the common linguistic choice to name the robbers as the “authors” of the robbery, as for a book, a movie or an art work author. In short, the bank robbery is a great artistic act. This video is realized in two channels in order to compare reality and fiction, because reality inspires cinema industry and vice versa in bank robberies.

– Hands up, this is a robbery!

– Please do not shoot!


The ambivalence of the English word “shoot” in the film-makers language suggests a contemporary theme or a situationist detournament of those images from others. This artwork is a re-appropriation strategy and a re-utilization of stolen images for personal purposes. The robbery is a quite evident social and political act.  One of the first XX century political representatives, Buenaventura Durruti, called the bank robbery a “political exercise”, and the legend says that one day he gave a gun to a mendicant and said: “Take it! Ask about the money to the bank!”.

We can also find images from films (copyright covered) or from banks CCTV. Indeed, at this point we can make a film without shooting! We can make a lot of mistakes, but here the question is: who is the robber between the bank and the robber?