Voices of the Land: Videos by Sky Hopinka
LOMAA presents a selection of experimental video works by artist Sky Hopinka, bridging themes of indigenous culture through the exploration of landscape and personal identity, often focusing on the ancestral language of his elders, of which Sky is among only a handful of his generation to be fluent and active in its study.
Friday December 22, 2017 | 7pm – 8:15pm | The ARTS Project – 203 Dundas Street / Admission by donation – suggestion of 3$ – 5$ (no one is turned away)
Kunįkága Remembers Red Banks, Kunįkága Remembers the Welcome Song
2014, 9.5 minutes
The video traverses the history and the memory of a place shared by both the Hočąk and the settler. Red Banks, a pre-contact Hočąk village site near present day Green Bay, WI was also the site of Jean Nicolet’s landing, who in 1634 was the first European in present day Wisconsin. Images and text are used to explore this space alongside my grandmother’s recollections. Each serve as representations of personal and shared memory, as well as representations of practices and processes of remembrance, from the Hočąk creation story, to Jean Nicolet’s landing, to the present.
2015, 7.5 minutes
Logging and approximating a relationship between audio recordings of my father and videos gathered of the landscapes we have both separately traversed. The initial distance between the logger and the recordings, of recollections and of songs, new and traditional, narrows while the images become an expanding semblance of filial affect. Jáaji is a near translation for directly addressing a father in the Hočak language.
Visions of an Island
2016, 15 minutes
An Unangam Tunuu elder describes cliffs and summits, drifting birds, and deserted shores. A group of students and teachers play and invent games revitalizing their language. A visitor wanders in a quixotic chronicling of earthly and supernal terrain. These visions offer glimpses of an island in the center of the Bering Sea.
I’ll Remember You as You Were, Not as What You’ll Become
2016, 12.5 minutes
An elegy to Diane Burns on the shapes of mortality, and being, and the forms the transcendent spirit takes while descending upon landscapes of life and death. A place for new mythologies to syncopate with deterritorialized movement and song, reifying old routes of reincarnation. Where resignation gives hope for another opportunity, another form, for a return to the vicissitudes of the living and all their refractions.
“I’m from Oklahoma I ain’t got no one to call my own.
If you will be my honey, I will be your sugar pie way hi ya way ya hi ya way ya hi yo”
-Diane Burns (1957-2006)
2017, 17 minutes
An incomplete and imperfect portrait of reflections from Standing Rock. Cleo Keahna recounts his experiences entering, being at, and leaving the camp and the difficulties and the reluctance in looking back with a clear and critical eye. Terry Running Wild describes what his camp is like, and what he hopes it will become.
Total duration: 62 minutes
Sky Hopinka is a Ho-Chunk Nation national and descendent of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians. He was born and raised in Ferndale, Washington and spent a number of years in Palm Springs and Riverside, California, and Portland, Oregon and is currently based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In Portland he studied and taught chinuk wawa, a language indigenous to the Lower Columbia River Basin. His work centers around personal positions of homeland and landscape, designs of language and facets of culture contained within, and the play between the accessibility of the known and the unknowable. He received his BA from Portland State University in Liberal Arts and MFA in Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
His work has played at various festivals including ImagineNATIVE Media + Arts Festival, Images Festival, Wavelengths, Ann Arbor Film Festival, American Indian Film Festival, Sundance, Antimatter, Chicago Underground Film Festival, FLEXfest, Projections, and the LA Film Festival. His work was a part of the 2016 Wisconsin Triennial and the 2017 Whitney Biennial. He was awarded jury prizes at the Milwaukee Underground Film Festival, the More with Less Award at the 2016 Images Festival, the Tom Berman Award for Most Promising Filmmaker at the 54th Ann Arbor Film Festival, and 3rd Prize at the 2015 Media City Film Festival.
The ARTS Project is a non-profit art gallery, theatre and studio space for artists. Our mission is to bring arts and culture to the downtown core and to the wider City of London. We do this by providing the space and the means for emerging and developing artists to do their work while also providing a venue for the public to see their work.
LOMAA is an emerging, enthusiastic and devoted non-profit artist-run collective that fosters collaboration, investigation and innovation by tapping into the talent and serving the needs of media artists in the London region.
LOMAA would like to thank London Arts Council for their support of this program, as well as the Ontario Arts Council for their continued support.