Oh My Homeland

Stephanie Barber

2019 | 00:03:40 | United States | Color | Stereo | 4:3 | 16mm film

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: African-American, Found Footage, Myth, Performance, Race, The State

In 1985 the great soprano Leontyne Price sang the title role in Verdi’s Aida as her farewell opera. After the ‘O patria mia’ aria, the audience breaks into a four-minute applause. Oh My Homeland is the third in a series of minimal single shot 16mm films. It’s a film about representation, art, and material exchange. It’s a film about endings. It’s a film about identity, love, power, patriotism and the transcendent potential of art through the viewing of a face receiving adoration. A minimal gesture akin to the practice every portrait painter or mother recognizes as ineffably powerful.

It is essentially a readymade and like my book Night Moves and my video Tatum's Ghost it continues to explore YouTube as a cultural and social archive.

Oh My Homeland, while being simply a shot of Ms. Price’s face as she receives the applause and before returning to the role, expands with the unaltered meditation on the shot. The transformational power of art for society and the maker alike; the implication of Ms. Price’s race and the context to which she dedicated her life; the staggering political implications of the Verdi aria (a mournful and complicated love letter to Aida’s homeland) in a time in which love of (my) country is hard to muster.

- Stephanie Barber

Pricing Information

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Prizes + Awards

Special Mention, Swedenborg Film Festival, London, UK


63rd BFI London Film Festival

Exhibitions + Festivals

Barcelona Short Film Festival, Spain

Manchester International Film Festival, UK

Big Muddy Film Festival, Illinois, United States

Atlanta Film Festival, Georgia, United States

BFI London Film Festival, UK

RPM 2020, Boston, United States

Swedenborg Film Festival, London, UK

Particle & Wave Media Arts Festival, Alberta, Canada

Split Film Festival, Croatia

IndieCork, Ireland

Barcelona Short Film Festival, Spain

New Orleans Film Festival, Louisiana, United States

ULTRAcinema Festival MX, Mexico

San Francisco Cinematheque at the San Francisco Art Book Fair, California, United States