Artist: Sky Hopinka
Venue: Broadway, New York
Exhibition Title: Lore
Date: October 10 – November 14, 2020
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Broadway, New York
For its inaugural exhibition, Broadway is pleased to present Lore, a solo show by artist and filmmaker Sky Hopinka. Centered around a 16mm looping film projection and including a suite of photographs hand-inscribed with related texts, the show succinctly encapsulates Hopinka’s ambitious and wide-ranging practice. Harnessing modes of filmmaking from feature-length non-fiction to skewed documentary to poetic experimental reveries, the artist enlists image, music and language in penetrating the spectral condition of a perpetual afterlife that infuses contemporary Indigenous existence—and that this medium so effectively evokes in his hands.
The titular film, which depicts the artist arranging and rearranging cut-up photographs on an illuminated overhead projector, takes its cue from Nostalgia (1971) the seminal experimental film by Hollis Frampton. In Frampton’s film, the narrator intones anecdotes relating to his artist friends and romantic entanglements as we watch photographs burn to ash atop a hotplate. With Lore Hopinka dramatically expands on this format, pushing the voice and image connections further afield into the landscape and into a more complex and poetic personal narrative that engages performative collage in real-time. As the photographs accumulate on the overhead projector, we see and hear a band rehearsing a melancholy song that slowly builds into an insistent, casually beautiful version of Bo Didley’s Heart O Matic Love—added layers of specificity and broader raw emotion that intercut the artist’s oblique voiceover of a dissolving romance.
As a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, and a fluent speaker of Chunk Wawa and active in Indigenous language revitalization, a consistent thread of translation, subtitling and multi-lingual voiceover runs through Hopinka’s practice as a whole. The slippage of meaning across these modes of expression, as well as the ways in which text and poetry (written, spoken and sung) remain in subtle friction with the imagery of the films and photographs is at the vital core of this work. The yearning incantations of the individual are overlapped with the specific political realities of a community and manifested with a strategy of presentation that straddles definitions of art, cinema and literature.
This exhibition is presented in collaboration with The Green Gallery, Milwaukee.
Link: Sky Hopinka at Broadway