Fiona Banner first came to prominence in the 1990s with “wordscapes” or “still films” such as The NAM, a 1,000-page, continuous-text book that describes the action in Vietnam War films frame-by-frame. Her interest lies in the complexities of language and history, how they are appropriated and mythologized; she is also interested in the physicality of words, which led her to sculpture. She carefully considers the format and content of her work in relation to its location. 1066, a panoramic wall drawing that swept across the walls of Frith Street Gallery in London, examines the accepted representation of the Battle of Hastings, using references from the Bayeux Tapestry, the primary historical document for this event and a triumph of propaganda. Quietly subversive, Banner’s work materializes from obscure sources, including the books of Fred T. Jane, founder of All the World’s Aircraft, an iconic compendium for the aeronautical industry begun in the early 20th century.
1066 detail, 2010. India ink on wall, 2150 x 400 cm.