"Sky Hopinka: Behind the evening tide" currently on view at Luma Westbau, Zurich
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"Sky Hopinka: Behind the evening tide" currently on view at Luma Westbau, Zurich
Still from Sky Hopinka’s video I’ll Remember You as You Were, Not as What You’ll Become (2016). Courtesy the artist.

ZURICH.- Behind the evening tide, currently on view at Luma Westbau until February 26th, 2023, presents a selection of works by artist Sky Hopinka, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation and the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians (Wisconsin, USA). Hopinka is a photographer, poet, and experimental filmmaker who investigates the sites and landscapes of the United States that are steeped in history, the multiplicity of languages, and myths from subjective perspectives rooted in indigenous cultures. For his first exhibition in Switzerland, two sequences of three short films are screened, alongside with a calligram that reveals the specificity of his work from the notion of ethnopoetry. In contrast to an objectifying study on contemporary Amerindian life, Hopinka operates at the crossroads of poetry and ethnography. Excerpted from a poem, the title of the exhibition "Behind the evening tide" invites to bring invisible forms to light in a contemplative and meditative gesture.

Hopinka's cinematographic practice is situated in a plurality of discourse regimes and forms. Using interviews, travel diaries and family archives, he unfolds an intimate narrative that reveals the complexity of indigenous histories in the United States. Oral dialogues are superimposed on texts written by the artist, on music of diverse origins and on a set of digital plastic techniques that offers perspectives beyond Western regimes of perception. In a sensitive and poetic manner, Hopinka conveys knowledge, metaphysics, and non-linear narratives where the present is inhabited by the past and the personal meets the political.

Central to his concerns are the stories of Native Americans living in the United States, Hopinka explores places across the country, such as Standing Rock in South Dakota, a site of protest that brought together thousands in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The charged histories of sites, themes of resistance, revolt, slavery, colonization, and the preservation of endangered languages are often present. Working in different languages and diverse image-making techniques, he offers unique insights to the rich culture of Native American societies amplified by memories of places, recollections of youth, and experiences of loss and longing.

Through moving image, poetry, and sounds, Hopinka sheds light onto the depths of Indigenous worldviews. Behind the folklore, preconceived ideas and histories, his works restores the dreams, memories, and remanences of the Natives.

Behind the evening tide at Luma Westbau, follows on from Sky Hopinka’s first major exhibition of his work in Europe at Luma Arles (France) The sun comes in whenever it wants.

Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk Nation/Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians) was born and raised in Ferndale, Washington. His work has played at various festivals (including Sundance, Toronto International Film Festival, and the New York Film Festival) and was featured in the 2017 Whitney Biennial and the 2018 FRONT Triennial. His solo exhibitions include the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (USA) and Luma Arles (France). He was awarded the Tom Berman Award for Most Promising Filmmaker at the 54th Ann Arbor Film Festival, and the New Cinema Award at the Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival. In 2022, he is recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship.

Luma Westbau Löwenbräukunst Limmatstrasse 270
8005 Zurich, Switzerland

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