Solange Knowles is no mere musician that produces work for commercial appeal. Her output—a blend of funk, pop, and R&B—is a creative release that she, and many others, deem as performance art. So much so that she presents her albums and videos in fine art institutions, eschewing the boisterous clubs and theaters that are de rigueur for most releases.
Knowles first put this into practice with A Seat at the Table, her 2016 album that she promoted at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, where she staged a concert that showcased the African-American experience through song and dance. And for her follow up, 2019’s When I Get Home, she, in her own idiosyncratic way, took the show on the road.
When I Get Home dropped in March, and was shortly accompanied by a 33-minute film of the same name that will have been shown at 15 venues across the globe, starting at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and culminating at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas. So far, screenings have taken place at the Brooklyn Museum, the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, along with others. And come August 5, 2019, the visual album gets a wide release on digital streaming services.
Viewers should expect to plunge into Knowles’s inner psyche, her musings on growing up in Houston, Texas—particularly her understanding of black cowboys and her relationship with God. “When I was younger, I would fear what the people called the Holy Spirit and what it would do to the men and women around me,” she said in a statement. “I never wanted it to catch me, and was terrified of how it might transform me if it did. Much of this film is surrendering to that fear. After a really tough health year and the loss of the body that I once knew, the film is an invitation for that same spirit to manifest through me and the work I want to continue to create.”
With a proclamation such as this—along with featuring works by artists Autumn Knight, Robert Pruitt, and Gio Escobar, and with backdrops of Rothko Chapel and the I.M. Pei–designed Dallas City Hall in the film—Knowles is relaying how she is a fine artist first and foremost. Indeed, she is driving the point home.