De Pont Museum, Tilburg, Netherlands
29 April – 27 August 2017
In the work of British artist Fiona Banner (Merseyside, 1966), opposites play a significant role. This concerns the relationship between words and images, man and machines, but also between the physical world and the virtual one. Her work comprises sculpture, drawings, video installations, performances, posters and books. The exhibition is Banner’s first major presentation in the Netherlands.
In the vast industrial space of De Pont’s main gallery, Banner creates a theatrical mise-en-scène where towering helicopter rotor blades and re-purposed military plane parts become the unknowing cast. Her deft handling of these objects reveals their anthropomorphic potential: Gazelle helicopter rotor blades are reminiscent of totem poles; a pair of Harrier nose cones suggest breasts, and elsewhere faces emerge from the juxtaposition of Jaguar drop tanks with abstract graphite drawings of full stops in different typefaces. Banner has long been fascinated by military aircraft, finding them at once beautiful and horrifying; almost ‘prehistoric, from a time before words’.
This relationship to language and conflict underpins much of her work. For Banner, the ever rotating criss-cross of blades as they mark out time and space is like a language trying to happen or a text trying to be formulated, ‘It’s like they are trying to spell out something that can’t be said.’ The exhibition’s title Runway (AW17), refers to a runway as a space of performance, evoking the architecture of fashion shows, as well as a space associated with aircraft. […]
Watch this video about Fiona Banner’s exhibition.