"Fiona Banner has long been fascinated by how signs translate experience. She has used the written word like a picture to represent a film; she has made sculptures of punctuation marks to show how an icon functions. Her work reminds us of the true meaning of 'iconic', it takes a sign and reminds us of its power.
Much of Banner's work has examined the representation of violence; how that experience can be rendered in language, and whether that language makes it more meaningful or meaningless. For signs to be effective they need to be condensed, and they may become so effective as shorthand that we forget what they really mean. In this new commission, Banner has gone further. By using real fighter jets, she confronts us with a form that perfectly represents its function, and in this way she reminds us of its real meaning.
Stripped down and feathered, the Jaguar and Harrier are caged in the gallery like birds or beasts. Appropriately enough for a work sited in a space that is fraught with the overtones of Empire, erected between two world wars, Banner's project speaks of invasion and of the shock and awe associated with modern warfare. It is sobering and impressive; exciting and nauseating too.''
-Penelope Curtis, Director, Tate Britain
Softcover: 16 pages
Publsher: Tate Britain (2010)