MIFFED BLUE RETURN is an exhibition of moving image installations by Yason Banal, Sky Hopinka, and Cici Wu, each of which addresses the unstable currents that link remembrance, place, and aftermath. Filmed in Hong Kong and Minneapolis, Cici Wu’s Unfinished Return of Yu Man Hon stars Jonathan Chang—a child actor known for his role in the Taiwanese classic Yi Yi (dir. Edward Yang, 2000)—as a grown-up Yu Man Hon, an autistic boy who crossed the Hong Kong– Shenzhen border into mainland China on August 24, 2000. Occurring not long after the 1997 handover, Man Hon’s unsolved disappearance remains a vivid memory for many in Hong Kong, and has come to symbolize the vanishing of local culture. Wu’s film subverts familiar interpretations of Man Hon, positioning him not as an avatar of death and loss, but instead as a celestial being. Wu’s camera, like a paper lantern, animistically trails the protagonist as he returns to the material world. Man Hon revisits places of sentiment and attachment, resurfacing lost memories of his own disappearance. In the process, the unfinished return of a city’s sovereignty is associated with the state of incomplete reconstitution that characterizes ghostliness. Cloudless Blue Egress of Summer, by Sky Hopinka, likewise examines the porous connection between environment and memory in the afterlife of colonialism. Fort Marion, also known as Castillo de San Marcos, was built in 1672, and is located in St. Augustine, Florida. It was used as a prison during the Seminole Wars in the 1830s, and again towards the end of the Indian Wars in the late 1880s. Richard Henry Pratt, as the prison’s warden, developed protocols of forced acculturation that were spread, through boarding schools, across the United States, manifesting his belief “that all the Indian there is in the race should be dead. Kill the Indian in him, and save the man.” Each section of the two-channel video recounts an aspect of Fort Marion’s history, from Seminole chieftain Coacoochee's account of escaping, with nineteen other Seminole, from the fort, to ledger drawings made by prisoners given pen and paper in order to sketch recollections from the plains. The work traces the persistence of presence and memory despite the colonial paradigms of confinement and incarceration. In the ebb and flow of the ocean, which is overlooked by the fort, the artist develops a parallel, incomplete narrative thread, finding hope in what is innately unstable and effortlessly resolute. Yason Banal’s jostling installation For a long time the glitch remained motionless...and in disbelief.. again! centers upon the Parthenon-inspired Manila Film Center, built to provide a venue for the first Manila International Film Festival (MIFF) in 1982, a soft power extravaganza organized at the height of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos’ plunderous conjugal dictatorship in the Philippines. Scaffolding tragically collapsed during the brutalist design’s hurried construction, fatally trapping a number of workers under quick-drying cement. The constellation around the failed structure and its troubling history of pageantry and power as well as its patrons’ recent, dark, triumphant return is made manifest through video collage, drone painting, hyperlink research, sculpture and intermittent technology. Banal decelerates 47 Canal’s WiFi made accessible to the public through the gallery's “MIFFED” network (password: MIFFED19)—approximating the Philippines’ slow internet speed by way of the Peso to Dollar buffering exchange rate, as the WiFi transfer is now set in New York like an offshore/online account. Banal scans and extends the ‘extrarchitectural craft’ of MIFF and the Manila Film Center situating these in dialogue with abstract mechanisms related to crony capitalism, post-truth, cultural patronage and neo-imperialism in the Philippines today. In each artwork, time is cyclical and the action of returning reframes the present and future.
The Poor Farm
E6325 County Highway BB
Manawa, Wisconsin 54949
THE GREAT POOR FARM EXPERIMENT
August 2, 3, 4, 2019
Sky Hopinka Exhibition runs through July 20, 2020
For its 11th year, Poor Farm is hosting a solo presentation of work by Sky Hopinka as well as several returning ancillary projects. Hopinka’s exhibition will overlap with the Democratic National Conventions in Milwaukee, Wisconsin July 13 - 16, 2020.
Sky Hopinka is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation and a Pechanga descendent. He was born and raised in Washington State and Southern California, and spent a number of years in Portland, Oregon, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In Portland he studied and taught chinuk wawa, a language indigenous to the Lower Columbia River Basin and first began making films. His video work centers around personal positions of Indigenous homeland and landscape, designs of language as containers of culture, and the play between the known and the unknowable. He was recently a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and Sundance Art of Nonfiction Fellow for 2019. His work has played at various festivals including ImagineNATIVE Media + Arts Festival, Images, Wavelengths, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Sundance, and Projections and been part of exhibitions at LACE, Disjecta, Counterpublic, the Whitney Biennial, and the Front Triennial. He currently teaches at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, B.C.
This exhibition will feature many of his videos from the past six years as well as a new multi-channel installation, and recent photo and text based work., A publication designed by Nate Pyper will accompany the exhibition and include contributions by Almudena Escobar López, Sky Hopinka, Michelle Grabner, John Riepenhoff, Julie Niemi among others.
Later this summer the Poor Farm is hosting a long-term research residency called Living Within the Play, exploring the contingent nature of hosting and gathering, the fleeting and the reverberating, particular to the moment of temporary, intentional assembly. Using the “artist residency,” a reliably liminal site, as a platform for inquiry and play and party - the Poor Farm becomes a “stage” or “playing field” that can collapse forms from daily life, the studio and the event to produce a living and working space that builds on the natural byproducts of this shared experience (responsiveness) towards a cumulative public occurrence (resonance). This project is coordinated by Mark Jeffrey (Chicago, IL), Kelly Kaczynski (Chicago, IL), Judith Leemann (Boston, MA), Kelly Lloyd (London, UK) and Shannon Stratton (Queens, NY).
This year’s annual Lazy River Show Me Your Rafts, Yet Another Can Float features a limited collectable koozie designed by Sarah Luther. Lazy River Radio will feature mixes by Joe Acri and Sally Nicholson. Experimental river apparel designed by Kirsten Schmid. The float takes place on Saturday, August 3, 2019 launch at 1pm. Laziness and sun screen encouraged. Poor Store, operated by Sara Caron, will return to Poor farm grounds.
Microlights, programmed by Ben Balcom + Jesse McLean, is a Milwaukee based cinema that platforms contemporary film and video art. They will present an outdoor screening on the August 2nd. The full program will be posted to their website: micrlightscinema.com.
This year's Summer School will be presented by Julie Niemi alongside carbon copy, an artist-run collective currently composed of Brigette Borders, Danny Bredar, Nathan Engel, Ed Oh, Daniel Salamanca, WooJin Shin, and Ke Yi (Leah) Zheng. Carbon copy's core areas of focus include collective action, experimental spatial syntax, and the changing position of painting in the digital age.
Poor Farm is a not-for-profit project space that honors the tradition of artist-directed programs and supported by Christine Symchych, Jim Campbell, Miriam Van de Sype, Flavius Cucu, John McKinnon, The Green Gallery, John Riepenhoff’s Beer Endowment, George Bregar and Company Brewing.