The Cloven World of Sky Hopinka
18 October 2018
See a free screening of shorts by filmmaker Sky Hopinka, a member of the Ho-Chunk and Pechanga Tribes of North America, presented in partnership with Queensland Film Festival.
The Cloven World of Sky Hopinka presents seven short films spanning 2014–2018, centred around personal perspectives of Indigenous homeland and landscape, language as containers of culture, and the play between the known and the unknowable.
Dennis Lim writes in Artforum: “The searching, striking digital films of Sky Hopinka are complex formal arrangements, conceptually and aesthetically dense, characterised by an intricate layering of word and image.” (March 2017, Vol. 55, No. 7)
The Cloven World of Sky Hopinka | 83 minutes | Unrated 15+
wawa | Sky Hopinka | 2014, 6 minutes
Featuring speakers of chinuk wawa, an Indigenous language from the Pacific Northwest, Wawa commingles various forms of documentary and ethnography, translating and transmuting ideas of cultural identity, language, and history.
Jáaji Approx. | Sky Hopinka | 2015, 8 minutes
Jáaji is the direct-address word for “father” in the Hočąk language; the second part of the title alludes not only to the approximations of translation but also to the notions of proximity and distance that shape the video’s form and content. A road movie through archetypal landscapes of the American West, it combines fragmentary shots of open skies, coastlines, forests, mountains, deserts, and highways with Hopinka’s audio recordings of his father’s stories and songs.
Visions of an Island | Sky Hopinka | 2016, 15 minutes
This film captures glimpses of an island in the centre of the Bering Sea. An Unangam Tunuu elder describes cliffs and summits, drifting birds, and deserted shores. A group of students and teachers play and invent games, revitalising their language.
I’ll Remember You as You Were, not as What You’ll Become | Sky Hopinka | 2016, 13 minutes
An elegy to poet Diane Burns (Chemehuevi / Anishinabe) ruminating on the mystical processes of transfiguration and reincarnation. Dancing figures at a powwow are transformed into otherworldly psychedelic streaks.
Anti-Objects, Or Space Without Path or Boundary | Sky Hopinka | 2017, 13 minutes
The title of this film, taken from the texts of the architect Kengo Kuma, suggests a way of looking at everything as interconnected and intertwined. Depictions of two structures in the Portland Metropolitan Area that have direct and complicated connections to the Chinookan people who inhabit the land are interwoven with audio of one of the last speakers of the Chinookan creole, chinuk wawa.
Dislocation Blues | Sky Hopinka | 2017, 17 minutes
Reflections from Standing Rock Indian Reservation and Dakota Access Pipeline protests. 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.
Fainting Spells | Sky Hopinka | 2018, 11 minutes
Told through recollections of youth, learning, lore, and departure, this is an imagined myth for the Xąwįska, or the Indian Pipe Plant used by the Ho-Chunk to revive those who have fainted.
All films courtesy of Sky Hopinka