Sky Hopinka, maɬni — towards the ocean, towards the shore, 2020 (still); courtesy the artist and Grasshopper Film

maɬni — towards the ocean, towards the shore

Related Exhibition What Matters: A Proposition in Eight Rooms

Thursday, Mar 7, 2024

6 p.m.

Floor 1, Phyllis Wattis Theater

Free; museum admission is not required. This event takes place on a First Thursday when museum admission is free to Bay Area residents.

This screening begins with a reading and film introduction by poet and artist Kim Shuck.

Artist and filmmaker Sky Hopinka’s maɬni — towards the ocean, towards the shore (2020) follows Sweetwater Sahme and Jordan Mercier’s wanderings through the spirit world and the forest paths and ocean shores in the Pacific Northwest as they contemplate the afterlife, rebirth, and the place in-between. Spoken mostly in Chinuk Wawa, their stories about family, loss, and birth are departures from Chinookan myth of death origins, with its distant beginning and circular shape. In this poetic feature debut, the interlocking journeys and portraits of close friends probe questions about humanity’s place on earth and other worlds, leaving audiences thinking (and dreaming) about it long after.

This film is presented in conjunction with the installation of Hopinka’s Jáaji Approx. (2015), I’ll Remember You as You Were, not as What You’ll Become (2016), and Fainting Spells (2018) in the exhibition What Matters: A Proposition in Eight Rooms on Floor 4.

Screening courtesy of Grasshopper Film.

Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk Nation/Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians) was born and raised in Ferndale, Washington; currently living and working in New York. In Portland, Oregon, he studied and taught Chinuk Wawa, a language indigenous to the Lower Columbia River Basin. His video, photo, and text work centers around personal positions of Indigenous homeland and landscape, and designs of language as containers of culture expressed through personal, documentary, and non-fiction forms of media. His work has been screened at various festivals including Sundance, Toronto International Film Festival, and the New York Film Festival. He has exhibited internationally at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Centre Pompidou, and the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College. He was a 2020 Guggenheim Fellow, 2021 Forge Project Fellow, and a 2022 MacArthur Fellow. He co-founded COUSIN, a collective supporting Indigenous artists expanding the form of film.

Kim Shuck has been a poet and poetry organizer in the Bay Area since the early 2000s. She has organized honorings, memorials, monthly, bimonthly, and intergenerational readings. She has curated/edited small books and full collections of poetry, including the first in her forthcoming series from all over the state of California. Shuck was selected and served for over three years as the 7th Poet Laureate of San Francisco. Her latest books are Pick a Garnet to Sleep In, a collection of new poems, and Noodle, Rant, Tangent, a collection of informal essays.

Film Details

Year: 2020
Total run time: 80:21
Director: Sky Hopinka
Format: HD video, stereo, color
Country: United States
Language: Chinuk Wawa, English; English subtitles

Accessibility Information

Accessible seating is available at this event.