I suppose I should start by saying that I am in love with a form.
It started with a line.
It happened to me slowly and subtly.
Every morning I would travel to college through Canary Wharf, watching crowds of expertly suited men from the top floor of a double decker bus.
There was something about it. Watching them casting their lives into air-conditioned offices; chasing the convection of currencies as they rose and fell; gliding, imperious, from one glass palace to the next. Striding their ways in their navy suits and pink shirts, their ties flying over their shoulders in the soft October wind.
I loved seeing the playful, coloured socks that peeped out from beneath their trousers when they would sit beside me. Their hems would rise above their ankles revealing lurid designs, garish patterns and so many bright adornments.
There I saw colour, opinion, status and desire… There was a need, perhaps even desperation to express.
They stood up again. Personalities shut away. At once we were back on the crowded streets. Their many trajectories mingling and tangling with one another before my eyes, like so many forking paths.
These endless imagined and chaotic lines that take tangible form and obediently align on their suits.
Not unlike neurons transmitting signals in the brain ordering them to get up, shut the world of flowery-socked imaginings away, and follow through with the tireless pursuit.
Imagine a crowd as kinetic art.
I think about the transformation from the abstract to the tangible.
I think about opt-art. About Bridget Riley. How her lines create an illusion, or disillusion if you’d prefer. Lines that are perfectly, almost algebraically allied but at first glance or from afar seem to interweave. They create small islands of chaos in the sea of precise geometry. Just like Canary Wharf during rush hour.
I think about the street.
Beginning to stir at about six am; the chaos rising to its zenith by nine and returning to perfect tranquility by eleven.
I think about distorting the perfect form of a pinstripe suit. I want to reduce it to its core, expose its guts, give it life…
I wanted to see underneath and inside, invade its privacy, take it by the throat and make it scream.
I wanted it to express what it truly was.
So I meet the men.
Fiona Banner in collaboration with Paolo Pellegrin. Mistah Kurtz – He Not Dead, PEER, 2014