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Naked Witch: An Autobiography

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Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft represents a shared knowledge, beyond political and national boundaries. It’s a way of describing ourselves – an attempt to stall time long enough to make some kind of reflection, not of the stuff around, but of us, the flesh. She has said that these works are an attempt to describe something through close observation without the device of editing.

Her facial expressions capture a sense of exhilaration as she embraces her own unique path in the entertainment industry.From her ‘wordscapes’ to her use of found and transformed military aircraft, Banner juxtaposes the brutal and the sensual, performing a complete cycle of intimacy, attraction and alienation. Her fascination with the English language led her to re-examine how history has represented the Battle of Hastings, an event which had a profound impact on the development of modern English. She has explained, ‘I thought it would be interesting to strip off all the narrative and the mediation of the film image, and just look at the figure. These absurdist fantasies represent an endlessly deferred future and reveals a complex relationship with the contents of the annual compendium to which Jane later dedicated his life.

These pieces took the form of solid single blocks of text, often the same shape and size as a cinema screen. This developed out of works she made using pornographic films, such as Arsewoman in Wonderland 2002, and the desire to investigate what the body can communicate outside of any narrative context. These personal transcriptions explore the ways in which actual or imagined events are fictionalised and mythologised. She recently turned her attention to the idea of the classic, art-historical nude, observing a life model and transcribing the pose and form in a similar vein to her earlier transcription of films.The density of the black and white lettering and discrepancies between line widths, combined with the overall scale of the piece which exceeds human height, suggests a relationship between the image of the nude and the artist or viewer’s body. Fiona Banner creates nude studies from life, by transcribing physical scenarios into verbal descriptions. Written in the 1890s, The Violet Flame, The Incubated Girl and To Venus in Five Seconds have been out of print for nearly a century.

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