Sky Hopinka. I'll Remember You as You Were, Not as What You'll Become. 2016

Sky Hopinka I'll Remember You as You Were, Not as What You'll Become 2016

  • Not on view

In this film, which serves as a tribute to the Native poet Diane Burns, markers of time and place bleed together to form a vivid meditation on mortality and reincarnation. Burns is seen performing at the American Indian Community House in New York in 1996. This archival footage is punctuated with powwow dancers, filmed by Sky Hopinka and partially obscured by folds of shimmering color created through digital editing. The rhythmic sound of Sacred Harp singing, traditional to the rural American South, makes up the film’s soundtrack.

A member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, Hopinka often studies language as a conduit for culture and incorporates text into his work. Over the course of the film, lines from Burns’s poems alternate with an ethnographic text on Ho-Chunk concepts of rebirth and the afterlife and other sources. Some of these excerpts are recast in geometric arrangements of text called calligrams, an example of which is installed here. Shaped after Ho-Chunk effigy mounds, these nonlinear texts, like the film, ask what forms the spirit can take.

Gallery label from 2021
Credit
Fund for the Twenty-First Century
Object number
W23384
Department
Film
Licensing

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research-and-learning/circulating-film.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].

Feedback

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].