The Canadian Art Database

Scotiabank Nuit Blanche
Toronto Canada 2013
[Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2006 to 2013]

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photo: Brian Bettencourt

David Hoffos - Lethbridge, Canada

Campfire, 2013
Multi-media and street performance

20 - Cloud Gardens, 19 Richmond Street West

[ photographs ]  [ video ]

Testing the limits of his illusion techniques outside the gallery structure, David Hoffos stages the nocturnal scenario of a campfire. Usually associated with leisurely happenings at wilderness sites, rural campgrounds and suburban backyards, the campfire takes on a new meaning in an urban context. The result is a scene that occupies a conflicted temporal zone; as viewers, we are unsure of whether we are experiencing a nostalgic vision of a simple past or a premonition of a survivalist future. As a subtle, inviting and possibly primal intervention within the city’s financial core, Campfire represents an unlikely eruption of wonder into the everyday.

Hoffos borrows inspiration from a range of cultural phenomena including stage magic, theme parks, genre movies, and self-help books. From a mixed bag of found and invented technologies, Hoffos conjures an eerie world of illusion while simultaneously exposing its artifice. Much of Hoffos’s installation work presents a blend of sculptural diorama and do-it-yourself cinema. Although his uncanny effects often provoke a sense of wonder – or even terror – in the viewer, his true subjects are the modern conditions of melancholy and anxiety.

David Hoffos received his BFA from the University of Lethbridge in 1994. Since 1992, Hoffos has produced over 40 solo exhibitions of his signature illusionistic environments. His monumental 6-year installation series, Scenes from the House Dream, recently finished a cross-Canada tour and was showcased at the National Gallery of Canada in 2010. He has received awards including the Images Grand Prize, 2007, and a Sobey Art Award (2nd prize), 2002.

Represented by Trépanier Baer, Calgary

Toronto Culture / Scotiabank