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Acropolis Cinema and LACMA present: The Ethnopoetic Cinema of Sky Hopinka
Los Angeles, CA
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Acropolis Cinema and LACMA present: The Ethnopoetic Cinema of Sky Hopinka
The Ethnopoetic Cinema of Sky Hopinka

Date: May 2, 2019
Time: 7:30pm
Location: LACMA | Bing Theater
Address: 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA. 90036

Sky Hopinka in person! Co-presented by LACMA.

Sky Hopinka is an artist and filmmaker whose work is featured in the upcoming 2019 Whitney Biennial. This screening will be the first-ever complete retrospective of Hopinkas work presented in Los Angeles. Known for some of the most striking, thought-provoking and intricately assembled video works of recent years (Filmmaker Magazine), Hopinka, a Ho-Chunk Nation national and descendent of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, has emerged as a vital voice in contemporary Native American filmmaking. Meshing vibrant images of mysterious landscapes with sonic experiences, his self-described ethnopoetic films combine documentary and experimental practices to create a unique cinematic language exploring ideas of language, culture, homeland, and displacement.

In person: Sky Hopinka


Sky Hopinka, 2014, 6 min.
Featuring speakers of chinuk wawa, an Indigenous language from the Pacific Northwest, Wawa begins slowly, patterning various forms of documentary and ethnography. Quickly, the patterns tangle and become confused and commingled, while translating and transmuting ideas of cultural identity, language, and history.

Kunkága Remembers Red Banks, Kunkága Remembers the Welcome Song
Sky Hopinka, 2014, 10 min.
The video traverses the history and the memory of a place shared by both the Hok and the settler. Red Banks, a pre-contact Hok village site near present day Green Bay, WI was also the site of Jean Nicolets landing, who in 1634 was the first European in present day Wisconsin. Images and text are used to explore this space alongside my grandmothers recollections. Each serve as representations of personal and shared memory, as well as representations of practices and processes of remembrance, from the Hok creation story, to Jean Nicolets landing, to the present.

Venite et Loquamur
Sky Hopinka, 2015, 11 min.
A group of students and teachers gather in an historical mansion in the woods of West Virginia for a week-long retreat in spoken Latin.

Jáaji Approx.
Sky Hopinka, 2015, 8 min.
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 Hoak language.

Visions of an Island
Sky Hopinka, 2016, 15 min.
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
Sky Hopinka, 2016, 13 min.
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.

Anti-Objects, or Space Without Path or Boundary
Sky Hopinka, 2017, 13 min.
The title of this video, taken from the texts of the architect Kengo Kuma, suggests a way of looking at everything as interconnected and intertwined - such as the historical and the present and the tool and the artifact. Images and representations of two structures in the Portland Metropolitan Area that have direct and complicated connections to the Chinookan people who inhabit(ed) the land are woven with audio tapes of one of the last speakers of chinuk wawa, the Chinookan creole, chinuk wawa. These localities of matter resist their reduction into objects, and call anew for space and time given to wandering as a deliberate act, and the empowerment of shared utility.

Dislocation Blues
Sky Hopinka, 2017, 17 min.
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.

Fainting Spells
Sky Hopinka, 2018, 11 min.
Told through recollections of youth, learning, lore, and departure, this is an imagined myth for the Xwska, or the Indian Pipe Plant - used by the Ho-Chunk to revive those who have fainted.


LACMA (View)
5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
United States



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