Critics’ Picks

Fiona Banner, Ha-Ha, 2014, 95% UV reduction vinyl on window, dimensions variable.

Fiona Banner, Ha-Ha, 2014, 95% UV reduction vinyl on window, dimensions variable.


Fiona Banner

Yorkshire Sculpture Park
West Bretton
September 20, 2014–January 4, 2015

In Fiona Banner’s Chinook, 2014, two sets of helicopter blades mounted on the ceiling just miss each other with every revolution. They seem to quip as lovers might, headlong and heart first, aestheticized amid the surrounding bucolic hills of Yorkshire.

In Ha-Ha, 2014—titled after the architectural element that forms boundaries between spaces—the gallery’s windows are coated in 95-percent-UV-reduction vinyl with cutout punctuation marks in different fonts forming peepholes, literally shaping how we see the outside. We become voyeurs of a landscape that, by virtue of its concealment, is thrown into sharp relief. The exhibition also includes a wall covered with the onomatopoeic title of the show, Wp Wp Wp, in lines of India ink, as if unearthing the scene outside. In a back room are four videos: One blinks the word “intermission” to relay pause; another tells a love story between two wind socks—of which one stands as an installation outside the space, a third follows a flying Chinook helicopter; and the last shows a stack of Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft books carefully piled one on top of the other before falling over. Beside Mirror, 2007, a lone documentation of a performance/painting that seems misplaced in form and content, this show is a radical revelation of the simultaneous grace and violence of language both topographical and disembodied. The objects, in combat with their anthropomorphic identities, become bathetic, exemplified by the giant exhibition catalogue of this show whose pages are turned by the wind of Chinook’s blades, laughing at the windows, knowing very well that punctuation belongs, if to anybody, then to it.