Memory Strata: Works by Sky Hopinka and Simon Liu

Presented with PSA

with filmmakers Sky Hopinka and Simon Liu in conversation with programmer Michael Sicinski

May 13, 2020, 07:00 PM Virtual Screening Free Buy Tickets

HCAS and PSA (Pleasure.Style.Attitude.) present a week-long virtual screening of seven films by two contemporary experimentalists whose work exists at the juncture of personal expression and cultural memory. Sky Hopinka’s films explore the spiritual and aesthetic traditions of First Peoples within the U.S., while Simon Liu’s work delineates the richness and anxiety of diaspora, existing between the U.S., the U.K., and Hong Kong.

Beginning Sunday, May 10th at 10am and extending to Saturday, May 16th at 10pm, those who register can view the program via a shared vimeo link. And on Wednesday, May 13 at 7pm CST, we will conduct a live virtual Q&A with both Sky and Simon on YouTube Live, moderated by programmer Michael Sicinski.

This event is supported in part by the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture 2020 Arts Activate funding.

Special Guests

Simon Liu

Simon Liu is a film artist whose work centers on building a lyrical catalogue of the rapidly evolving inner and outer landscapes of his place of origin in Hong Kong through alternative documentary forms, abstract diary films, multi-channel video installations and 16mm projection performances. The films act as a storage mechanism which offer potential re-examinations of the city’s history and Liu's shifting notions of selfhood as a person of Chinese/English decent, who was born in a former British colony. Liu’s work has been presented at festivals and institutions globally including New York Film Festival: Projections, International Film Festival Rotterdam: Tiger Short Competition, Toronto International Film Festival: Wavelengths, Sundance Film Festival, New Directors / New Films at MoMA & Film at Lincoln Center, British Film Institute, M+ Museum, and “Dreamlands: Expanded” with the Whitney Museum & Microscope Gallery. The Museum of Modern Art in New York will host an upcoming solo-presentation of Liu’s moving image work as part of their ongoing Modern Mondays series. Liu is a 2019 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow, a teacher at the Cooper Union School of Art, and a member Negativeland; an artist-run film lab in Brooklyn. Liu is currently in post-production on his first feature film, Staffordshire Hoard.

Michael Sicinski

Michael Sicinski is a writer, critic, and teacher based in Houston.

Sky Hopinka

Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga) was born and raised in Washington and spent a number of years in California and Oregon. In Portland he studied and taught Chinuk Wawa, a language indigenous to the Columbia River Basin. He received his BA from Portland State University in liberal arts and his MFA in film, video, animation, and new genres from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. He currently teaches at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia. His feature length debut maɬni – towards the ocean, towards the shore premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

Jáaji Approx.

Logging and approximating a relationship between audio recordings of my father and videos gathered of the landscapes we have both separately traversed. The initial distance between the logger and the recordings, of recollections and of songs, new and traditional, narrows while the images become an expanding semblance of filial affect. Jáaji is a near translation for directly addressing a father in the Hočak language.

Country, Year United States, 2015
DirectorSky Hopinka
Runtime8 MINS, SECS
GenreExperimental, Short
SubjectExperimental
Event TypeCompilation

Sneyd Green

It’s any day, any year in the house of Alan and Vera in their Post-Industrial English conurbation formerly known for their world renown pottery industry, yet on this week they are interrupted by their camera toting grandson. This May is one of moving, dancing, and gliding more softly and with greater awareness. They might have been stars, they could have been famous!

Country, Year United Kingdom, 2016
DirectorSimon Liu
Runtime11 MINS, SECS
GenreExperimental, Short
SubjectExperimental
Event TypeCompilation

When you're lost in the rain

In this video, drawing from Bob Dylan's song "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" layers of experiences circling loss and longing are overlaid between images of landscapes and movement. In the song, a stranger's listlessness and exhaustion are woven through and around Juarez, Mexico, and so too are these stories woven around original discontent and uncertainty as they move through an uneasy negotiation with the strangeness of the American pioneer spirit.

Country, Year United States, 2018
DirectorSky Hopinka
Runtime5 MINS, SECS
GenreExperimental, Short
SubjectExperimental
Event TypeCompilation

Highview

Upon the North Point a torrential downpour of instants tease their way into sight, but never fully form. Shutter-induced memories reduced to speckles, dissipating into fog. Here, my initial disappointments in a material defect morph into opportunity - satisfying an itch to melt instances together, to see any number of places as one. I want to go home. These images were meant to show us what goes where - but I can't make out the path. Maybe we should lay them all out on the floor and try to put the pieces back together. In another five days, I'll need to leave.

Country, Year United Kingdom, 2017
DirectorSimon Liu
Runtime11 MINS, SECS
GenreExperimental, Short
SubjectExperimental
Event TypeCompilation

I'll Remember You as You Were, Not as What You'll Become

An elegy to Diane Burns on the shapes of mortality, and being, and the forms the transcendent spirit takes while descending upon landscapes of life and death. A place for new mythologies to syncopate with deterritorialized movement and song, reifying old routes of reincarnation. Where resignation gives hope for another opportunity, another form, for a return to the vicissitudes of the living and all their refractions.

Country, Year United States, 2016
DirectorSky Hopinka
Runtime13 MINS, SECS
GenreExperimental, Short
SubjectExperimental
Event TypeCompilation

Signal 8

They said a storm is calling this way but we’re still waiting. Lives carry on in Hong Kong as traces of civic upkeep morph into sites of remembrance. Decorative structures mimic nature then occasionally malfunction - transforming common spectacle to warning signs. The light urges to tell us something but can't quite get its point across, patience tested for another day.

Country, Year Hong Kong, 2019
DirectorSimon Liu
Runtime14 MINS, SECS
GenreExperimental, Short
SubjectExperimental
Event TypeCompilation

Lore

Images of friends and landscapes are cut, fragmented, and reassembled on an overhead projector as hands guide their shape and construction in this film stemming from Hollis Frampton’s Nostalgia.

Country, Year United States, 2019
DirectorSky Hopinka
Runtime10 MINS, 0 SECS
GenreExperimental, Short
SubjectExperimental
Event TypeCompilation