Dallas, Texas:: A Bee Press,, 2018.. Edition of 4 variants. Materials: synthetic hair, cotton and linen thread, balson wood, linen, cotton, paper, wax. Sculptural hair affixed to ciruclar box. Text wrapped around band inside box top. Pamplet accompanites piece. Font is Calibri. Sgined and numbered by the artist. Alisa Banks: "When Is Now questions the appropriate time to expect equal footing and humane action for marginalized populations. The basis of the text was conceived during a time of personal upheaval that coincided with the 2016 US presidential election and speaks to feelings of shock, denial, immobility, anger, helplessness, and sorrow concerning the ensuing political and cultural shift in this country and beyond. It speaks to my connectedness as an "unheard" to others who are "unheard" and is a protest against racially motivated acts of terror, unequal citizenship, callous action, and invisibility. What action to take and when to take it is a personal decision and a multi-faceted community has room for many forms of activism. In simple terms, one form is that of patient activism. Improvements progress slowly and peacefully by living as a "model" citizen by constantly striving for excellence in every aspect of living in order to break down stereotypes. Other methods include engagement in protest by marching, petitioning, and use of the court system, and community volunteerism and stewardship. Yet another form of activism uses physical means such as marching and taking armed and/or unarmed defensive measures. Activism has facilitated change but at times the gains made toward equal citizenship appear to slide backwards. The call for patience, to wait "for things to get better" is a familiar refrain. Many who reap benefits from past activism manage the daily stress of living with or compartmentalizing feelings of frustration, disbelief, anger, and hopelessness with each report of violence and blatant unfairness against marginalized persons. When is enough, enough? "When is Now?" or "When is Now!" "In rare cases, an idea for a structure appears before the idea or content of the work. This is one of those instances. Several years ago, I obtained a set of round wooden containers and knew they would become a book, but had no idea what the book should be about. I only knew that the boxes were to be an integral part of the work and not just a container of it. In 2016, I began an essay and after several months, it became clear that the boxes would contain the essence of the essay, though not the words themselves." Hair politics is a recurring theme in Alisa Banks' work. She states that "Though an inert material, hair is both highly personal and highly subject to social and cultural codification.
As an object of the gaze, the political and social implications of hair color, texture and style are implicit.