“When I Get Home” Notes from a Solange Fan

 

Atlanta, Ga-This past Friday (Nov. 1) High Museum hosted their Frequency Friday event, which they hold on the first friday of every month. It is described on their website as an event that includes live performances by Atlanta area artists, gallery talks, drinks for purchase, and more.

 

The special part about this Friday was that they were hosting a screening for Solange's film “When I Get Home” with never before seen extended director's cut. 

 

I would say half way through the film I was wondering when will I get home.

 

To say the entirety of the event was disappointing would be an understatement. After waiting in line for over an hour to watch the film; I was pissed. The reason I was so pissed was the fact that the event was hyped up so much more than what it actually was.

First off, I don't want to drag the High, but I have too or else it would go against my journalistic duty of not reporting the truth. The organization of the event was done poorly and the staff were unprepared for the large number of people that came out to the event. What I mean by this is that they had line stations set up to crowd people towards different screenings times to watch Solange's film. Unfortunately for them the overwhelming number of people in attendance made the entire line process non-existing. People had to get stickers and wristband but no one knew where to stand because every employee was directing patrons differently. As a former intern watching the chaos I couldn't help but step in and try to guide people in a “somewhat” correct direction. Overall, I felt as though the High did a disservice to Solange for such a poorly unorganized event. But let's dig into the film….

 

I was pissed that I made over an hour drive to the High Museum to watch the exact film that is available on Youtube and Apple Music. If I had to guess there was only about a minute and thirty seconds of extended footage that was thrown in sporadically throughout the film; and I know I wasn't the only one pissed about it. Before, the film could even end rows of people left scoffing disapprovingly and laughing at the fact that THIS WAS THE SAME FILM MOST PEOPLE IN THE ROOM HAVE ALREADY SEEN. Now we can not blame the High for not knowing the exact film wasn’t as exclusive as they made the event seem;( although quick google search could have shown them this). The High Museum is trying to boost museum attendance and increase membership sales and tagging Solange name onto their event achieve exactly that. Her film was a great marketing strategy to traffic people to the museum. But, I am will blame Solange for bombozzling her fans into thinking we were going to get more from this film.

 

I don't know what more I thought I was going to get from this film, whether it had been more film footage or more insight into Solange's creativity, but whatever she did this wasn’t it.

 

What I did like about the film, that I didn’t notice the first time watching it was her meticulous thought of adding black aesthetic and experiences throughout the film.

 

One scene in the film that caught my attention was the one where it shows three black women, which the 

Photo creds to INSIDER

 

viewer we can assume are three generations of women grandmother, mother, and 

daughter. In the scene they are wearing popular black hairstyle from late 80’s and early 90’s and long FloJo-like acrylic nails. As you watch the three women moving throughout the scene it gave me a sense of nostalgia of simpler times of when you went to the salon to get your hair hot combed out in those funky style you never liked growing up but your mother loved. The scene gave appreciation to those hair and nails trends that were popular back-in-the day in the black community. Now those same trends and aesthetics are being leeched off of by known POC celebrities.

 

Another impactful scene was the one that plays during one of my favorite songs on the album Almeda featuring Playboi Carti. Many scenes throughout the film had these placement of black bodies in geometric shapes and ritualistic stances. Solange drew major inspiration from Busby Berkelly a musical composer who was known for placing large groups of dancers into kaleidoscope shapes. Solange’s use of Berkelly’s theory and black aesthetic gave the film this dreamlike aura. I thought a lot about ancient times, pre-diaspora when black people were in status of royalty and how great our culture once was and still is. It gave me a sense of empowerment to know that black is versatile.

 

Overall, her film was an inspiring and watching it in such as black space was beautiful. While at the screening I appreciated being around the beautiful blcak people of Atlanta. I was so mesmerized by the style and fashion and the way black people congregate to support black artist I thank Solange for the opportunity to fellowship with my community in creative space. Moments like these are the ones I truly cherish. I don’t feel uncomfortable or intrusive in spaces like these. Even though I went alone I felt almost at home...I know it’s very cliche to say but that's how black spaces make me feel. Comfortable and inspired.

 

So as a  Solange fan I loved the film and her way of portraying her Houston blackness in this film. Solange teaches that black women are multifaceted and that when you have a vision you should push yourself to create, because you never know what little black girl you might be inspiring. From discussing important themes such as Afrofuturism to commonalities we have in our black experiences her film “When I Get Home” was a provocative tale of the variant nature of being black.

 

So yea I was pissed, but was also very inspired.