And she was
wearing trousers:
a call to our heroines

blk banaana

As high as the stars so far unseen (2022)

As high as the stars so far unseen borrows its title from June Jordan’s 1978 poem “we are the ones we have been waiting for”. This video collage is a visual landscape dedicated to the hidden, but not silent, women who were active in the struggle against Apartheid.
A video still of a digital collage presents a Black woman front and centre from the waist up wearing a business suit, appearing as an inverted photo negative. Behind is a rectangle screen of archival imagery of a protest, with Black men in suits and people holding signs that read Pass Laws, surrounded by a thick black border. The base of the image has blue and teal green drawings of geometric and line shapes, and across the whole image, textures of hand drawn marks and many colour circles of red and orange surround the central Black woman figure and archival photograph.
It is a message of recognition to the activists, teachers, workers, mothers, grandmothers, ancestors, sisters and friends whose (her)stories are not recorded or celebrated as part of dominant historical narratives relating to the resistance struggle in South Africa. Like the lives of many of the unnamed women, this piece is nonlinear, chaotic and unpredictable, and gestures toward everyday acts of survival. It takes the viewer on a journey from turmoil to transcendence, and is intended as a portal for continued dreaming toward a shared vision of liberation.
A dark room showing spot lit timber frame structures that have screens placed on the outside of the structure and a projection hanging above. The small screen on the right shows an abstract outline in grey tones of two figures, and the projection hanging from the ceiling has Afrikaans text from what appears to be an archival photograph covered with drawings in its corners of green and blue colours.
Detail of a projection screen showing blurry blue circles and lines in movement, and at the centre a drawing of a mask or animal head with green, blue and white colour abstract lines and markings.
A dark room with timber frame structures that are spotlit. There is a projection hanging above, showing remnants of blurry footprints on a blue background and at its centre, a white triangle is layered on a drawing of a mask or animal head in red and purple tones with abstract lines and markings inside.

Single channel video projection. Dimensions 2m x 2.4m. Duration: 05:00.

Installation views of As high as the stars so far unseen at Arts House, 2022.

An African women wearing hoop earrings, a blue beanie, blue turtle neck and teal wool cardigan is standing tall in front of a concrete painted wall.

blk banaana is a South African multidisciplinary artist working with handmade and digital collage, video art and installation. Her practice explores visualizing fragmentation and speculative reconstruction through collage, reimagining notions of time, place, space, identity, being and belonging produced by Western historical, anthropologic and algorithmic forces. As an emerging artist, she has collaborated with many artists and organisations in South Africa and globally, over the past two years, working as both a designer and artistic collaborator.  In August 2021, she was selected as the first artist-in-residence for LAPA Pan African Artist Residency, founded by The Goethe Institute Johannesburg and VANSA (Visual Arts Network of South Africa).