Fiona Banner: re-imaging cinema

Joseph Conrad’s novel Heart of Darkness tackles a real horror, one in both the wilds of the jungle and deep inside of man. Imagine, in the eyes of artist Fiona Banner with select designers, if Orson Welles had made the film adaptation in the 1930s through fictionalized posters. The mind wonders and the eye gawks at these stunning representations of a thing that never fully existed. It plays on notions of the unseeable but knowable, a familiar trope in the horror genre.

Orson Welles wrote a screenplay based on Joseph Conrad’s novel Heart of Darkness in the late 1930s. It would have been his first film but it was rejected by the studio RKO, and he went on to make Citizen Kane instead. At the time the script was considered too political, too expensive, and too uncompromising artistically, not to mention narrative parallels with the rise of fascism in Europe. Today other parallels are drawn. – from Artangel’s “A Room for London” program, watch the performance of the script here. 

Here are some of my favorite mages from her current exhibition Unboxing: the greatest film never made at 1301PE Gallery in Los Angeles:

The Greatest Film Never Made (Fiona Banner and Name Creative), 2012
Graphite on paper


The Greatest Film Never Made (Fiona Banner and Empire Design), 2012
Graphite on paper

The Greatest Film Never Made (Fiona Banner and La Boca), 2012
Graphite on paper

View more images along with installation images here.

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The darkness of Frieze

Going through my camera after Frieze (a substitute for a forgotten pen), I noticed how the artworks I liked share in some serious darkness. This choice is aesthetic shouldn’t be a surprise. 

Fiona Banner and Empire Design – The Greatest Film Never Made (2012)
Graphite on paper
@ Frifth Street Gallery
Welles, real horror, and dream cinema 

Michelangelo Pistoletto – Two Less, One Black (2011)
Black and silver mirror, golden wood
@ Galleria Continua 
Black abyss, eternal reflection, the unknowable

Gary Simmons – Through the Mist (Ghost…), 2012
Oil on canvas
@ Metro Pictures
Haunting, frenzy, through time

Lari Pitman – How Sweet the Day After (1988)
Acrylic and enamel on panel
@ Regen Projects
Conglomeration of history