In Tête à Tête (2014) two windsocks become the main protagonists in a Bonnet drama set in the English countryside. They participate in a kind of dialogue, based on a scene from a period drama. This fitful semaphore, where head tilts and nods, chin tucks, lowered gazes, are played out mutely and mechanically, reference Fiona Banner’s concern with the power and limitations of language and our (her) own struggle to communicate.
Windsocks are used to indicate wind direction and wind speed. They are generally found at airports, landing pads and oil rigs. When the wind is strong enough (15 knots) the sock is fully inflated and points in the opposite direction to the wind. In mild conditions the sock hangs downwards, deflated. Commonly fluorescent orange in colour, windsocks often appear in bizarre contrast to their natural surroundings. Banner has configured two mechanically operated windsocks that are no longer beholden to Nature’s whim. Rising and falling, to various apparently random degrees, they perform a new language. In motion the Windsocks become expressive characters, no longer just machine but rather a snout, a limb, a cartoon.