David Hoffos: Scenes from the House Dream
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
6 November 2009 – 14 February 2010
“I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.”
— Gaston Bachelard (The Poetics of Space)
Up in the small city of Lethbridge, Alberta, artist David Hoffos has, for a number of years now, been working on an elaborate 5-phase series of work titled Scenes from the House Dream.
In the past, individual works have been shown, but now you can see them all together as they were meant to be.
Hoffos makes stunning installation work using holograms and visual trickery, stunning even for today’s jaded audiences. But it’s – refreshingly – not about shock value. His work reminds us of the early days of cinema, and there’s a pleasingly surreal aspect to his work that is found through ghostly images, secret doorways, use of mirror and projections that “draws the viewer into the artist’s subconscious dream world.”
Gaston Bachelard spoke of the dream house as representing everything that is comfortable and desirable for us and said “House and space are not merely two juxtaposed elements of space. In the reign of the imagination, they awaken daydreams in each other.”
David Hoffos, Scenes from the House Dream: Parlour (Golf), 2003 Detail of diorama.
Hoffos’ use of still video projection to create uncanny effects relates to work by former Lethbridge-based artists Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, whose Paradise Institute won the Premio prize at the Venice Biennale in 2001, and also to the work of young Montreal artist – and VoCA favorite – Adad Hannah.
Hoffos’ gallery calls this work a “personalized architecture of the self.”
Don’t miss the chance to see this show by one of Canada’s most intriguing contemporary artists.
VoCA will interview the artist in the next few weeks.. Stay tuned for that.
Hoffos is represented in Calgary by the excellent Trepanier Baer gallery.