Fiona Banner has been invited to create the next installation for the Tate Britain Duveens Commission 2010, supported by Sotheby’s. Her new work, created especially for the neoclassical Duveen galleries at the heart of Tate Britain, will be unveiled on 28 June 2010 and will be on display until 3 January 2011. Artists who have previously undertaken the Commission include Eva Rothschild (2009), Martin Creed (2008), Mark Wallinger (2007), Michael Landy (2004), Anya Gallaccio (2002) and Mona Hatoum (2000).
Fiona Banner works with sculpture, performance, film, drawing and painting. Her work often reflects the tension between a private, internal world and the public, social realm. She first became known for her word-scapes or ‘still films’: vast unedited descriptions in her own words, of feature films, including war films and pornographic films, commentaries which relay what is often disturbing, brutal or frightening action on screen.
Banner has recently addressed the nude, transcribing into words her candid observations of a life model. For Mirror (2007), Banner made a written portrait of the actress, Samantha Morton, posing nude in the artist’s studio. The following night Morton read out the description, which she had not previously seen, to a live audience, in what Banner has described as a 'striptease in words'. These descriptions have at times been transcribed onto parts of military aircraft, performing a complete cycle of intimacy and alienation.
The aesthetics and associations of military aircraft and the way they are depicted in the media have also featured strongly in Banner’s work. All The World’s Fighter Planes 1999-2009 incorporates found newspaper images of every military plane currently in service throughout the world. In 1997 she published THE NAM, a 1000 page book comprising a meticulous description of six Vietnam War films. The completion of this epic work was marked by a tiny neon full stop, which later led to a series of sculptures of enlarged punctuation marks in various fonts, such as Full Stops 1998. Made intermittently, these sculptures punctuate both Banner’s own work and the space in which they are exhibited, and represent a breakdown, or gap, in language.
Fiona Banner’s work for the Commission will challenge the aesthetic and physical expectations of the neoclassical Duveen galleries. She comments,'I'm looking forward to the prospect of working within the phallic pillars of this extraordinary grandiose space.'
Judith Nesbitt, Chief Curator, Tate Britain, said: 'Fiona Banner’s works arrest the eye and the mind; they are both seductive and unsettling. I greatly look forward to seeing her imaginative response to the spaces of Tate Britain’s Duveen galleries when the work is unveiled this summer.'
Bill Ruprecht, Chief Executive Officer, Sotheby’s Worldwide, said: 'We are extremely proud to be supporting the Tate Britain Duveens Commission for the third successive year. In 2010, Sotheby's sponsorship will once again help Tate to exhibit and profile the new and innovative work of a British contemporary artist on this internationally renowned platform.''
Fiona Banner was born in Merseyside in 1966 and lives and works in London. She studied for a BA in Fine Art at Kingston Polytechnic (1986-1989) before graduating with an MA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College, London (1991–93).. Banner was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2002 and has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions worldwide including: Every Word Unmade, Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin (2007), The Bastard Word, Power Plant, Toronto, Canada (2007); Exquisite Trove, The New Art Gallery, Walsall (2009), and Punctuation Marks: Text and Language in Modern British Sculpture, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds (2009).