Fiona Banner aka The Vanity Press does not waste words in BAD REVIEW. Both deadpan and playful, Banner’s Leporello N° 03 uses images from her work Portrait of an Alphabet, 2009; a series of images made in a photo booth, reconfigured to read Bad Review.
The sudden flash disrupts the notion of privacy behind the curtain in the narrow booth, only just large enough to fit a small chair. The artist is shielded by the large scale typographic print-outs she holds up. Only slight details; a glitch here and parts of a hand there, reveals the process behind the work.
For Banner, often incorporating language and text in her work, the work can be seen as a form of self-portrait. A portrait of the artist as a typeface.
For The Leporello Series, ll’Editions has invited a select group of international artists to contribute. Each artist is given carte blanche, restricted only by the accordion format and its ten panels (recto). Leporello N° 01 was made by Heimo Zobernig, followed by Micah Lexier for Leporello N° 02.
Inhabiting a space between book and paper sculpture, the leporellos are printed on delicate Mohawk Superfine Eggshell paper. Each volume in the series is limited to 250 numbered copies and come in a bespoke rigid box, with the title hot foiled both on its front and on its spine, allowing it to sit comfortably in a bookshelf when not on display. The first sequence in the series includes four volumes, which will be released at monthly intervals.
Fiona Banner (b. 1966) often works under the moniker of The Vanity Press. She established the imprint in 1997, with her seminal book The Nam. Since then she has published many works, some in the form of books, some sculptural, some performance based. In 2009 she issued herself an ISBN number and registered herself as a publication under her own name. Humour, conflict and language are at the core of her work.
She first became known for her “wordscapes” – often heroically proportioned works that capture in her own words films, from war blockbusters to porn. She often works with the “nude”, transcribing the human form into category-defying prose. Sometimes she repurposes military aircraft to brutal, sensual, and comedic ends.