De Pont Museum Collection Display
collection and new work
6 August 2022–29 January 2023
A small solo presentation of work by British artist Fiona Banner aka The Vanity Press is on view within the De Pont Museum collection display. Several recent works, including three paintings from the series Full Stop Seascapes (2021) and the film Pranayama Organ (2021) are being shown at De Pont alongside Banner’s work from the collection. Recurrent themes in these works are the possibilities and limitations of language and image, as well as the symbolic power of military hardware.
In Pranayama Organ, recently on view in Venice during the 2022 Biennale, two immense inflatable military decoy fighter jets, a Typhoon and a Falcon, gradually come to life and enact a dream of emasculating the tools of conflict. Later in the film two figures dressed as the fighter jets carry out an absurd ritual dance of courtship and combat. They cautiously explore each other, desiring intimacy not conflict. In the soundtrack the rhythm of breathing blends with an organ referencing Wild is the Wind and a tenuous balance builds between power and vulnerability, and between humor and poetry and violence.
Full stops are a central theme throughout Banner’s body of work. Full stops are silent symbols, within language they connect to the breath, and make us pause. In 2020 Banner carved out of giant granite Full Stops in various fonts which became physical barriers. Under the guidance of Greenpeace, Banner cast the sculptures into the sea, creating a barricade against illegal trawling in order to compel the government (successfully!) to take action. In this case, the image and action of language became more powerful than language itself.
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