“The other guy yells ‘Freeeze…’ again and the car squeals off. He’s there holding the gun dead straight in front of his face, peow, peow, peow, peow.” So reads a minute portion of Banner’s jam-packed, monumental print, which recounts—in the artist’s own words—an extended car–chase scene in the cult action film Point Break (1991). Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, the film details the adrenaline-charged lifestyle of a gang of surfing bank robbers. (“Point break” is a surfing term for the moment a wave breaks on a rocky point.)
Banner came into prominence through her “wordscapes” or “still films”—works such as this one that explore how stories are perceived and reimagined, particularly in pornography, action films, epic films, and films about war. Break Point (its title reverses the title of the film) is the largest in a series of prints that considers the genre of the car chase. Here the artist transforms her detailed description of a seemingly endless, yet climactic, chase—including dialogue, action, scenery, and sound effects—into a block of text the size of a billboard or, more aptly, a cinema screen. As pursuer closes in on pursued, the words literally crash into one another, creating an abstract visual corollary to the rousing action of the film.
Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights since 1980, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2007, p. 178.