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John-Paul Stonard

(b Merseyside, June 23, 1966).

English sculptor and conceptual artist. She studied at Kingston Polytechnic, Surrey (1986–9), and at Goldsmiths’ College of Art in London (1992–3). She had her first solo exhibition at City Racing, London, in 1994, and in the following year was included in General Release: Young British Artists at the XLVI Venice Biennale. Banner came to prominence with her ‘wordscapes’, large text works that recount the plots of feature films or other events. The first of these was Top Gun (pencil on paper, 2.13×4.57 m, 1993), a hand-written account of the film Top Gun presented on a cinematic scale. The ‘wordscapes’ led to the publication in 1997 of The Nam, 1000 pages of continuous text describing the Vietnam war movies Apocalypse Now, Born on the Fourth of July, Full Metal Jacket, Platoon, Hamburger Hill and The Deer Hunter. This unreadable text points to the excess of violence in such films, the numbing of critical faculties, as well as the mythologizing and fictionalizing framing devices used to interpret historical events. Towards the end of the 1990s she became interested in the implications of punctuation signs, dwelling on their qualities as abstract marks that give structure to text. By selecting a variety of fonts, enlarging the full stop signs to ...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b London, Nov 8, 1965).

English conceptual artist, photographer and film maker. He studied History of Art at Manchester University (1985–8) and Fine Art at Goldsmiths’ College, London (MFA, 1992–4). In 1990 he began a series of works by placing advertisements in the London magazine Loot and various newspapers, inviting people who thought they looked like God to send in their picture; this evolved into The God Look-Alike Contest (1992–3; London, Saatchi Gal.), exhibited in the Sensation exhibition (London, RA, 1997) and consisting of the original advertisement and the responses he received. For Involva (1995; see 1999 exh. cat., pp. 19–21), he advertised in a sex contacts magazine, illustrating a drawing of a woodland clearing with the caption ‘Please will you join me here?’. He then photographed the letters he had in reply in a clearing similar to the one shown in his announcement. The process of asking a question that at first appears naive or absurd is a key strategy in Chodzko’s work, the final form of which is the product of other people’s imaginations. In the late 1990s he began to target specific groups for his projects, as in ...

Article

Zachary Baker

(b Kent, Oct 4, 1966; d Scotland, March 29, 2008).

English conceptual artist, photographer, painter and installation artist. He is associated primarily with the Goldsmiths’ College group, sometimes known as the ‘Freeze Generation’, which emerged in the late 1980s during Michael Craig-Martin’s period of teaching there. In February 1988, as a second year student, Fairhurst organized a small group exhibition at the Bloomsbury Gallery of the University of London Institute of Education; it included, alongside his own work, art by fellow students Mat Collishaw, Abigail Lane and Damien Hirst. This was a kind of precursory event for the more dynamic and famous Freeze exhibition of summer 1988, curated by Hirst, in which he also participated. In the early 1990s he was involved in many seminal events and exhibitions such as A Fête worse than Death (1993), on Charlotte Road and Rivington Street, London, curated by Joshua Compston (1971–96) and Factual Nonsense, and Some Went Mad, Some Ran Away...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Karachi, Pakistan, April 18, 1968).

British film maker, installation artist and conceptual artist of Pakistani birth, active in England. She completed a BFA at Goldsmiths’ College, London, between 1991 and 1994. For her degree show she created Pushed/Pulled (1994; see 1998 exh. cat.), changing the door panels at the entrance to the college’s studios so that they read ‘Pushed’ and ‘Pulled’ rather than ‘Push’ and ‘Pull’. This kind of conceptual slippage is typical of Floyer’s work. In Light (1994; Berne, Ksthalle), a disconnected lightbulb is illuminated by the beams from four slide projectors; the blandly descriptive title, like the work itself, is both truthful and paradoxically misleading, undermining the viewer’s expectations of the object’s functionality. Floyer uses these dislocations to produce situations in which viewers are made to feel very selfconscious about what they should be seeing, often using projections as a means of producing apparent displacements of objects or sounds. In the video ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Aylesbury, April 13, 1964).

English conceptual artist. He studied at Hertfordshire College of Art (1983–4) and Goldsmiths’ College, London (1984–7). Gillick characterized his early work as ‘displacement activity’, a method of working that was parallel to certain professional methods but that opened their processes to question. His first exhibition (London, Karsten Schubert Gal., 1989) demonstrated this device in relation to architecture: using a computer programme, Gillick produced a series of drawings for buildings that were deliberately faulty or unworkable as architecture. In the early 1990s he launched a similar project with photographer Henry Bond (b 1966) in which they operated as a news team in order to examine the procedures behind news-gathering; the result became the series Documents (1991). Following these works, Gillick began to produce art in the form of scripts and text-based proposals, sometimes in book form, though related works also emerged from them: ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Redhill, Surrey, May 26, 1970).

English conceptual artist. He studied at Goldsmiths’ College in London (1989–92) and quickly established himself in the mid-1990s with a highly formalist conceptual art concerned with issues relating to sign systems, copies, perception and representation. Diptych (1995; see 1996 exh. cat.), one of his earliest pieces, renders the symbols of two road signs on separate small cushions. Carcass (dissected map in acrylic case, 2×1.1×0.4 m, 1995; London, Saatchi Gal.) is a map of England, Wales and Scotland, turned upside down and suspended in a clear box, from which everything has been painstakingly cut out apart from major motorways and arterial roads. Such works typify one thread of investigation within his practice, which concerns our ability to recognize common symbols even when they are altered. He explored this further in a series of pieces with national flags, such as Commune (1998; see 2000 exh. cat., p. 34), which consists of 31 flags whose individual markings remain conventional, but whose colours are all a uniform dark red. Parsons also explored issues surrounding mark-making and abstraction: these came together with his interest in sign systems in the painting ...