photo: Brian Bettencourt
David Hoffos - Lethbridge, Canada
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