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Filmmaker and Performance Artist Joe Gibbons Sentenced to One Year in Prison for Bank Robbery

Performance artist Joe Gibbons has received a sentence of one year in prison, for going into a Capital One Bank in Chinatown and stealing $1,002, according to Noah Remnick in the New York Times. Calling the act performance art, he filmed what unfolded on a pocket-size video camera. At his sentencing yesterday, Gibbons remained calm. Asked for an explanation for his crime, he replied “I have nothing to say, your honor.”

Gibbons has been in the Whitney Biennial four times, and has work in the Museum of Modern Art and the Center Pompidou’s collections. He’s a former lecturer in art at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Officials in Rhode Island suspect he might also be the man who robbed a Citizens Bank in Providence last fall.

Critic and curator Ed Halter said, “I’d assume the bank robbery wasn’t an act of performance art per se, but more precisely a way to get footage for a future film he must be making. His work has always incorporated diary elements, and very often in a way that the viewer can’t quite be certain about what’s true and what’s not.”

Light Industry, a nonprofit which Halter cofounded, held a benefit for Gibbons in February. $8,799’s been raised for his legal fees via a crowdsourcing effort online.