Ho-Chunk artist Sky Hopinka won a MacArthur Fellowship in 2022 for his filmmaking. One of these videos, “Lore,” is on view at the Georgia Museum of Art through Sept. 24.
“Lore” is a short film that examines the nature of storytelling and reimagines the transmission of memories and knowledge. Hopinka’s films open up conversations surrounding Indigenous people in the U.S., identity and perception, and his personal perceptions of Native homelands. He calls his style “ethnopoetic,” highlighting how his work investigates cultural and racial identity through a combination of experimental cinema, photography and poetry.
“Lore” uses a series of visual and audio abstractions to tell a story of a not-so-distant past that appeals to the viewer’s feeling of nostalgia. The film shows various hands rearranging translucent photographic fragments as Hopinka reads his poetry, recalls memories and recites myths. The artist layers imagery, sound and text to challenge traditional depictions of Native communities and cultures in cinema. In these videos, viewers see storytelling as a communal activity and history-making as an ongoing, cyclical process of reconciling past, present and future.
Hopinka said, “Deconstructing language through cinema is a way for me to be free from the dogma of traditional storytelling and then, from there, to explore or purpose more of what Indigenous cinema has the possibility to look like.”
Hopinka is a filmmaker, video artist and photographer whose films have been featured in the Sundance Film Festival. In 2022, he received the Infinity Award in Art from the International Center of Photography. His work has appeared at the Toronto International Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, the 2017 Whitney Biennial, the 2018 FRONT Triennial, and Prospect.5 in 2021. Solo exhibitions of his have appeared at Bard College and at LUMA Arles, France. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, Sundance, Art Matters and the Forge Project.
The exhibition was organized at the museum by curator of American art Jeffrey Richmond-Moll.