11 February - 9 April 2016
1301PE is pleased to announce its fifth solo exhibition with acclaimed British artist Fiona Banner. Following on from her lauded survey at the Ikon in Birmingham, this exhibition weaves together key themes from Banner's multi-disciplinary practice. The film installations, works on paper, and artist books articulate the unexpected ways that Banner investigates the slippage between object, image and text.
Much of Banner's artistic practice illuminates the limitations and possibilities of language and its cultural parameters. The works presented at 1301PE continue Banner's longstanding interest in conflict movies, this time interpreted through Joseph Conrad's novella Heart of Darkness (1899) and its various iterations.
In the 1890s, Conrad's theme was colonialism and empire, in the 1930s Welles' theme was the rise of fascism in Europe and for Coppola in the 1970s it was the mess of war. The novel is reinterpreted in the 21st century, seen through the prism of the global finance industries.
Banner's film installation Mistah Kurtz – He Not Dead (2014 – 2015) misappropriates the key line from Conrad's Heart of Darkness to examine the finance industry's tribal and competitive behavior. Collaborating with the Archive of Modern Conflict and commissioning Magnum photographer Paolo Pellegrin, Banner explores the financial district of London through the lens of conflict photography. In her film at 1301PE, Banner projects these photographs onto a monumental drawing of pinstripe fabric, the uniform of trade in the City of London – animating them to a hypnotic soundtrack that mixes drumbeat with the voices of open-outcry trading.
Pellegrin's photographs and Banner's pinstripe drawings are juxtaposed in Banner's illustrated reprint of Conrad's Heart of Darkness, which takes the form of a glossy magazine, igniting a sense of luxury and unattainable desire. This publication becomes the protagonist in Banner's film Phantom (2015), in which a drone simultaneously observes and harries the book like a hawk chasing down its prey. As the drone attempts to focus on the text and images, the downdraught from its rotor blades animates the pages and causes the book to flee before it.
This press release is typeset in a new font designed by Fiona Banner, titled Font, which is an amalgamation of typefaces she has worked with in recent years through Full Stop sculptures, bean bags, typeset and published works.
"It's a family tree arrangement where the child of Avant Garde and Courier mates with Peanuts and Didot's child. Bookman and Onyx mate; their child mates with Capitalist and Klang's offspring – the final font is an unpredictable bastardisation of styles and behaviors." – Fiona Banner
Fiona Banner was born in 1966 and came to prominence in the 1990s with her 'wordscapes', epic and transcriptions of iconic films retold in the artist's own stream-of-consciousness writing. Banner lives and works in London, where she also runs her own imprint The Vanity Press. Banner is represented in major collections including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Philadelphia Museum; Walker Art Gallery, Minneapolis. In 2002, Banner was short-listed for the Turner Prize at Tate Britain. Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions and commissions at Tate Britain, London; Whitechapel Gallery, London; The Power Plant, Toronto; Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield; IKON, Birmingham.
Banner's survey exhibition 'Scroll Down And Keep Scrolling' is on show at Kunsthalle Nuremberg, Germany from 24 March - 29 May 2016.
On Thursday February 11 at 7:00 pm Fiona Banner will introduce and discuss 'Heart of Darkness in the City of London' at Printed Matter's LA Art Book Fair (Geffen Contemporary at MOCA). She will screen her two short films Mistah Kurtz – He Not Dead (2014) and Phantom (2015), as well as discuss the new edition of Heart of Darkness. Printed Matter will host a book signing with Banner immediately following the screening and discussion at booth B01.
Banner's major new artist book Scroll Down and Keep on Scrolling (2015) and illustrated reprint Heart of Darkness (2015) will accompany the exhibition.