Romancing the Anthropocene curated by Ivan Jurakic and Crystal Mowry

Campfire, 2013

David Hoffos - Lethbridge, Canada

Mixed Media

Campfire, 2013

Working from a magician’s toolbox of found and invented technologies, Hoffos conjures an eerie world of illusion. As a subtle yet visceral intervention in the city’s financial core, Campfire represents both a nostalgic vision and a dark premonition.

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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.

Suitable for all ages


Cloud Gardens, 19 Richmond Street West

This project is outdoors.