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Now Available: Stephanie Barber’s oh my homeland

Posted February 9th, 2023 in Announcements, New Acquisitions, New Films, News / Events

Now available from Canyon Cinema: Stephanie Barber‘s oh my homeland, a minimalist, single-shot portrait of the renowned African American soprano Leontyne Price.

In addition, we’ve also added exhibition files of eight of Barber’s 16mm films to Canyon’s digital collection, including: 3 peonies (2017), the parent trap (2017), Catalog (2005), Total Power, dead dead dead (2005), Dogs (2000), metronome (1998), flower, the boy, the librarian (1997), and letters, notes (1997).

For a complete list of all of the Stephanie Barber films available from Canyon Cinema, see:

oh my homeland (Stephanie Barber, 2019, 4 minutes, color, sound, 16mm)

In 1985 the great soprano Leontyne Price sung 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 I’m currently building. 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.