Sky Hopinka (b. 1984, Ferndale, Washington) is a Ho-Chunk Nation national and descendent of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño. His work navigates landscape and language through mesmerizing, impressionistic videos. The narrators in his films speak about belonging, friendship, and kinship to ruminate on the ways that memories are shared and linger over time.
Cursive lines cross the horizon in Fainting Spells (2018), recounting his imagined myth for the Xąwįska, or the Indian Pipe Plant, used by the Ho-Chunk to revive people who’ve fainted. Hands arrange and rearrange a collage of transparent color photographs on an overhead projector in Lore (2019) while a narrator tells stories of people, places, and memories. When you’re lost in the rain (2018) draws from Bob Dylan’s song “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” about Juárez, Mexico. The film features text and two overlapping narrators drawn across blurred moving images of mountains, roadways, and, briefly, labor protestors in a civic building. One narrator tells their many-layered story of growing up in the US while the other reads Walt Whitman’s poem “Pioneers! O Pioneers!”, an uneasy negotiation between the North American pioneer spirit and those who were here before.
Organized by Melanie Kress, High Line Art Associate Curator.
Lead support for High Line Art comes from Amanda and Don Mullen. Major support is provided by Shelley Fox Aarons and Philip E. Aarons, The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston, and Charina Endowment Fund. High Line Art is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council, under the leadership of Speaker Corey Johnson. High Line Channel is supported, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.