Artists in Conversation: Onyeka Igwe and Sky Hopinka
Sunday, 16 January 2022
Programmed by Qila Gill, This is the first in-dialogue screening between artist, Onyeka Igwe and Sky Hopinka.
Onyeka Igwe has a particular interest in the ways the sensorial, spatiality, and non-canonical ways of knowing can provide answers. She uses embodiment, voice, archives, narration and text to create structural ‘figure-of-eights’, a format that exposes a multiplicity of narratives.
Sky Hopinka’s work centers around personal positions of homeland and landscape, designs of language and facets of culture contained within, and the play between the accessibility of the known and the unknowable.
The screening will be followed by a conversation between Onyeka Igwe and Sky Hopinka, hosted by Emma Bouraba, LSFF Assistant International Film Programmer.
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”. The voice tells a story about a not too distant past, a not too distant ruin, with traces of nostalgia articulated in terms of lore; knowledge and memory passed down and shared not from wistful loss, but as a pastiche of rumination, reproduction, and creation.
Kunįkága Remember Red Banks, Kunįkága Remembers the Welcome Song
The video traverses the history and the memory of a place shared by both the Ho-Chunk and settler: Red Banks, a Ho-Chunk village site near present day Green Bay, WI was also the site of Jean Nicolet’s landing, who in 1634 was the first European in what is now called Wisconsin. Images and text are used to explore this space alongside the artist's grandmother’s recollections. Each serve as representations of personal and shared history, as well as of practices and processes of remembrance.
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.
“I’m from Oklahoma I ain’t got no one to call my own.
If you will be my honey, I will be your sugar pie way hi ya
way ya hi ya way ya hi yo”
-Diane Burns (1957-2006)
No Archive Can Restore You
Taking its title from the 2018 Juliette Singh book, No Archive Can Restore You depicts the spatial configuration of this colonial archive, which lies just out of view, in the heart of the Lagosian cityscape. Despite its invisibility, it contains purulent images that we cannot, will not, or choose not to see. The film imagines ‘lost’ films from the archive in distinctive soundscapes, juxtaposed with images of the abandoned interior and exteriors of the building. This is an exploration into the ‘sonic shadows’ that colonial moving images continue to generate.
a so-called archive
The work interrogates the decomposing repositories of Empire with a forensic lens. Blending footage shot over the past year in two separate colonial archive buildings—one in Lagos, Nigeria, and the other in Bristol, United Kingdom—this double portrait considers the ‘sonic shadows’ that colonial images continue to generate, despite the disintegration of their memory and their materials. Igwe’s film imagines what might have been ‘lost’ from these archives, mixing genres of the radio play, the corporate video tour, and detective noir with a haunting and critical approach to the horror of discovery.
Sitting on a Man
Traditionally, women in Igbo speaking parts of Nigeria, came together to protest the behaviour of men by sitting on or making war on them by adorning themselves with palm fronds, dancing and singing protest songs outside the man in question’s home . This practice became infamous due its prominence as a tactic in the Aba Women’s War, the 1929 all woman protest against colonial rule. Two contemporary dancers reimagine the practice, drawing on both archival research and their own experiences.