Apocalypse Now

Fiona Banner

Fiona Banner, Apocalypse Now

Pencil on paper, 274 x 650 cm

UK 1997


Apocalypse Now is a kind of cross-medium translation of Francis Ford Coppola’s eponymous 1979 Vietnam epic. It consists of a hand-scribbled single block of text describing the whole film from the viewer’s perspective and measuring some seventeen square meters. Banner’s written account needs to be read as engagement with scale, handwriting and narrative. (Ju.Ju.Li.)

“Certainly there is an excited involvement here, a passion that emerges through the handwriting itself, as well as through the breathless need to tell the narrative in the present, keeping pace with the moment and the moving action of the images spooling before Banner as cinematic viewer”. (Williams 1996)


Fiona Banner, born 1966 in Merseyside, UK. She is one of the Young British Artists.


Linda Ruth Williams, “Fiona Banner,” in Spellbound: Art and Film, eds. Ian Christie and Philippe Dodd (London: Hayward Gallery and British Film Institute, 1996).

Erika Balsom, Exhibiting Cinema in Contemporary Art (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2013), p. 120.

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