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Stephanie Barber

oh my homeland


16mm transferred to video

Runtime: 3:50

Courtesy of the Artist

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In 1985 Leontyne Price sung the title role in Verdi’s Aida as her farewell opera. After the ‘O patria mia’ aria, the audience broke 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; about endings and 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.

This 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.

Has screened at BFI London, Big Muddy, Atlanta Film Festival, Light Field Film Festival, IndieCork, Split Film Festival, Manchester Independent Film Festival and many others.


Stephanie Barber is a writer and artist who has created a poetic, conceptual and philosophical body of work in a variety of media, often literary/visual hybrids that dissolve boundaries between narrative, essay and dialectic works. Her work considers the basic philosophical questions of human existence (its morbidity, profundity and banality) with play and humor. Her videos are distributed by Video Data Bank and her films can be found at Canyon Cinema and Her books Night Moves and these here separated... were published by Publishing Genius Press in 2013 and 2010 respectively. Her collection of very short stories All The People was published by Ink Press Productions in 2015. Her haiku collection Status Update Vol. 1 was published in the fall of 2019 by CTRL+P and her full length play Trial in the Woods will be published by Plays Inverse in Autumn 2020.