It’s already been two years since the release of Solange Knowles’ When I Get Home. To celebrate her fourth studio album’s debut, the Grammy award-winning visual artist has teamed up with the Criterion Channel to exclusively premiere a remastered director’s cut of its accompanying art film. As icing on the anniversary cake, a series of digital activations will go down this week on her Black Planet page and feature art installations created over the years, a digital collage of fan images and testimonial stories curated by Solo, along with special performances and screenings.
“When I first started creating “When I Get Home” I was quite literally fighting for my life…” reflected the singer-songwriter in an Instagram post commemorating the momentous occasion. “In and out of hospitals (s/out park plaza on Binz! 🙂 with depleting health and broken spirits asking God to send me a sign I would not only survive, but that if he let me make it out alive, I would step into the light whatever that meant. He began speaking to me. Half the time I didn’t know where it was coming from. I only knew I had to open the door and honor it. I didn’t see naann a thing I imagined. I didn’t know who I was speaking to on “I am a witness”. When I listen back, I hear a woman who had only an inkling of what the journey entailed, but didn’t have a clue of why or what the journey would look like.
“This project has shown me, once you open that door, you can’t go backwards. Believe me I’ve tried saying “nah I’m just playing” so many times, ha. I’m not a big fan of talking about shit I don’t know yet. I didn’t do much talking during this time because of that. I’m really down for showing the process, and staying quiet when it hasn’t all yet being revealed. I make work to answer questions within me, for survival. Sometimes I am asking myself that same question many ways. Sometimes it takes me years. I have to honor that time. This Houston ting moves slow y’all. One day, I’ll tell y’all about the days I’ve had since I opened this door. The things I’ve uncovered. The life long healing I’ve begin. The great divine joy and love I’ve experienced. The stories of my past I’ve survived that I had stored all up in my body…. till it said…. no more. The re-learning. The reckoning. This album led me to all of it. Life has now become before WIGH and after WIGH. I’m so grateful for you guys allowing me the space and time. So so so grateful. Ima be celebrating all week long the coming of home 🖤…@pharrell @thekingdream thank u both for acting like your not Pharell and The dream lol and blessing me and trusting me with your contributions 🖤🖤🖤”
In the futuristic tribute to her hometown of Third Ward, Houston, When I Get Home “explores concepts of origin, fear, safety, and reclamation through the power of ancestral roots and the creation of one’s own kaleidoscopic universe.” Since the album and film’s debut, When I Get Home has become “a devotional classic, steadily inspiring a communal evolution among people of various identities who have used the film as a source of strength and meditation.”
You can reimmerse yourself in Solange’s visual work of art by way of the new director’s cut on Criterion Channel‘s official website. The original When I Get Home art film can also be streamed on Apple Music.