Past Exhibitions

A still from a video showing a women's head and shoulders, leaning forward, as seen from behind with white cursive script overlaid that says Xąwįska you're fallen again. I pluck flowers from
a still from a film that shows a blurred background of olive green, purple, blue and brown, with the words in red "it's a spectral feeling that makes sense when"
a still from a film that shows a man walking down a dirt road amidst a smoking landscape that has recently been burned with white handwriting that says " Xwįska, you've sat outside too long"
Sky Hopinka: Fainting Spells

Multimedia artist, Sky Hopinka, explores themes of culture and homeland as he reflects on the complexity of Indigenous identity. As a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin and the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, Hopinka layers memory, language, myth, and longing in two experimental films – When you're lost in the rain and Fainting Spells.

Fainting Spells is an imagined myth for the Xąwįska (or Indian Pipe), a medicinal plant used by the Ho-Chunk to revive those who have fainted. In this film, Hopinka interweaves recollections of youth, learning, lore, and departure. Drawing from Bob Dylan's 1965 song "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues," the artist’s film, When you're lost in the rain, conveys experiences of loss and yearning overlaid by fleeting impressions of the landscape. Both short films include the nearly extinct Indigenous language, Chinuk Wawa, which when combined with Hopinka’s dreamlike imagery results in a poetic, meditation on the uncertainty and strangeness of American colonialism from an Indigenous perspective.

images 1, 3: Sky Hopinka, Fainting Spells, 2018, film still

image 2: Sky Hopinka, When you're lost in the rain, film still


When you're lost in the rain was commissioned by Brianna Matzke for The Response Project, 2018. When you're lost in the rain and Fainting Spells are Courtesy of Video Data Bank, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Artist.

Image copyright of the Artist, courtesy of Video Data Bank, School of the Art Institute of Chicago


The 2022 Exhibition Year Presented By Mascoma Bank, Community First Since 1899, Certified B Corp, With a circular logo of repeating teardrop shapes






Sky Hopinka: Fainting Spells is sponsored in part by The Maslow Family Foundation and Leunig's Bistro & Café.  Hospitality sponsors, Lake Champlain ChocolatesFarrell Distributing, and Prophecy Wines.

Burlington City Arts is supported in part by the New England Foundation for the Arts through the New England Arts Resilience Fund, part of the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund, an initiative of the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with major funding from the federal CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan Act from the National Endowment for the Arts, and by The Vermont Arts Council & the National Endowment for the Arts.


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