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Sky Hopinka

Seeing and Seen

February 5 - July 9, 2023

San José Museum of Art

November 4, 2022 - July 9, 2023
110 S Market St, San Jose, CA
Hours: Sunday 11AM–6PM
Thursday 4–9PM
Friday 11AM–9PM
Saturday 11AM–6PM
(Closed Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)

Institute of the Arts and Sciences

February 5 - April 16, 2023
100 Panetta Ave, Santa Cruz, CA
Hours: 12- 5 p.m. Daily
(Closed Mondays)

Sky Hopinka’s visually striking and linguistically rich films, photographs, and poetry, explore the layered nature of contemporary Indigenous experience. A member of the Ho-Chunk Nation and descendent of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, Hopinka’s deeply personal work teases out legacies of both colonial oppression and Native resistance, illuminating continuities between past and present, the known and unknowable.

Seeing and Seen brings together works exploring both the relationships between the carceral and settler colonial history of the United States— and also that which evades those systems of capture. Cloudless Egress of Summer, 2019, for instance, traces the fraught prison history of Fort Marion in Florida in the 1800s while Dislocation Blues, 2017, poetically documents the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in 2016-17. These films make visible the links between the carceral past and present, and they also reveal that captivity (like history) is always incomplete. Hopinka weaves images, text, and soundscapes in these and other works until prisons become oceans, a protested pipeline forms a bridge, and freedom is shown as both uncontained and uncontainable.

Sky Hopinka: Seeing and Seen is a multi-sited exhibition, and a newly commissioned video, Sunflower Siege Engine, 2022, is on view at the San José Museum of Art. It is curated by Gina Dent, Lauren Schell Dickens, and Rachel Nelson as part of Visualizing Abolition, a multi-year initiative exploring art, prisons, and justice. See for more information.

About the Artist (Tab to skip section.)
A person with a greyt button up shirt over a black tshirt stands in front of a concrete wall

About the Artist

Sky Hopinka (b. 1984, Washington, Ho-Chunk Nation/Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians) creates video, photo, and text work which has been featured at various festivals (including Sundance, Toronto International Film Festival, Ann Arbor, Courtisane Festival, Punto de Vista, and the New York Film Festival) and in the 2017 Whitney Biennial, the 2018 FRONT Triennial and Prospect.5. He was a guest curator at the 2019 Whitney Biennial and participated in Cosmopolis #2 at the Centre Pompidou. Solo exhibitions include the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College and LUMA Arles. Hopinka was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University in 2018- 2019, a Sundance Art of Nonfiction Fellow for 2019, an Art Matters Fellow in 2019, a recipient of a 2020 Alpert Award for Film/Video, a 2020 Guggenheim Fellow, a 2021 Forge Project Fellow, and a 2022 MacArthur Fellow.