Catherine Opie Visits Her Hometown

Catherine Opie in 1968, with her father and his collection of political memorabilia. Production still from the series Exclusive. © Art21, Inc. 2014. Photo: Courtesy the artist.

Catherine Opie with her father and his collection of political memorabilia, 1968. Production still from the series Exclusive. © Art21, Inc. 2014. Photo: Courtesy the artist.

“Going back to Sandusky, [Ohio] has been really interesting because I’ve been allowed to find this place of joy again where it was really hard for me to be as a kid.” —Catherine Opie

Today’s Exclusive, filmed in 2011, follows photographer Catherine Opie as she visits her hometown of Sandusky, Ohio. Opie wanders the town with her camera, searching for what she calls “that fine art Americana image,” and reflects on how her early experiences in Sandusky influenced her approach to photography. “It’s curious that I end up spending so much time by myself now photographing,” Opie says, “because it’s very similar to how I was when I was a kid—there was a lot of alone time.” At the site of her father’s former business, a craft supply factory, Opie describes the strong sense of patriotism that existed in her family home. Her photographs of high school football players, Tea Party rallies, and the first inauguration of President Obama demonstrate her own interest in American identities.

Exclusive is supported, in part, by 21c Museum Hotel and individual contributors.

CREDITS: Producer: Ian Forster. Consulting Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interviewers: Wesley Miller & Susan Sollins. Camera: Mark Falstad. Sound: Ray Day & Heidi Hesse. Editor: Morgan Riles. Artwork Courtesy: Catherine Opie. Archival Images Courtesy: Catherine Opie. Theme Music: Peter Foley.

Contributor
Ian Forster is ART21's associate producer. He joined the staff in October 2009, first working on ART21 William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible and subsequently ART21 Art in the Twenty-First Century Season 6. In addition to his work on ART21′s broadcast programming for PBS, Forster oversees the Web video series ART21 Exclusive and ART21 Artist to Artist and is deeply involved with ART21 New York Close Up.

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