Barbara Thumm

Fiona Banner \ Ann-Sofi Sidén

14 Feb - 14 Mar 2015

© Fiona Banner
© Ann-Sofi Sidén
Sticky Floors (Lunch to Last Call), 2015
14 February – 14 March 2015

The forthcoming gallery exhibition will present recent works by Fiona Banner and Ann-Sofi Sidén.

Both artists uses film to explore the slippage between narrative and documentary and more specifically, the problems and possibilities of staging and documenting performance. They explore video through installations in which the viewer confronts a multiplicity of readings.

Through her film works, such as Intermission (1993-2014) Fiona Banner unpicks the mediums by which we interpret, adapt and reproduce an understanding of the world. Jane's (2013) apparently documents repeated, unsuccessful, attempts to stack the complete set of air- craft encyclopedias begun by Fred T Jane in 1909. It sug- gests a parody of sculpture making. In Chinook (2013) Banner focuses on the absurdist spectacle of military air shows in the UK in which the Chinook helicopter performs an aerial ballet, carefully choreographed to push the craft to its limit for the purpose of display. Two mechanically operated windsocks become the main protagonists in Têtê a Têtê (2014), a bonnet drama set in the picturesque English countryside. Mirror (2007) also references a performance, in which actress Samantha Morton reads, for the first time, Banner's nude portrait of her. Written rather than painted it reveals the ways in which image and text variously operate. The films are presented on steel easels designed by the artist. Banner has used easels in the past as staging props, particularly in her Live, Life-Drawing Performances; here too they reference process and performance. Used to stage a series of films - which themselves raise questions about documenting performance - the easels become part of the stage, no longer neutral plinths but rather actively posturing in the space.

Offering another view than the classical film "apparatus", Ann-Sofi Sidén's video works concern alternative multifaceted cinematic spaces. While capturing large amounts of footage by using surveillance cameras she also stages part of her filming. Sidén's reductional editing process compresses time and builds the densely layered narration which both signifies and embodies her video sculptures. Her surveillance pieces resemble storage shelves adding the dimension of time next to object, both relating to the actual experience and spirit of life within an Irish pub, a Luxemburg hotel, a Swedish fire station or a German hospital. The work itself provides the incentive for its own existence.

In Sticky Floors (Lunch to Last Call) (2015) Ann-Sofi Sidén has built up a complex, multi-channel video installation from Costello's Tavern, a pub in Limerick, Ireland. The dichotomy of day and night is unraveled as the Costello family interacts with their mixed generational clientele. The material is largely recorded by using the pub's own surveillance equipment and footage, which Sidén has cut and edited from a 24-hour cycle into a 1 hour and 55 minute long, 9-channel, black and white silent movie.

Untitled (Babyklappe) (2007) displays a baby hatch recorded in a hospital facility along with a surveil- lance monitor and two medical encyclopedias, used by the front desk at emergency rooms all over Germany. Untitled (Babyklappe) refers to Sidéns epic multi-channel installation In Passing (2007) which narrates the fragmented story – told from a number of different perspectives – of a young woman who leaves her infant child in the baby hatch of a Berlin hospital. This act of desperation sets into motion a narrative follow- ing two parallel journeys, one of the orphaned child and another of it's mother.

Tags: Fiona Banner, Ann-Sofi Sidén