Scotiabank Nuit Blanche

Romancing the Anthropocene curated by Ivan Jurakic and Crystal Mowry

Campfire, 2013

Suitable for all ages

Represented by Trépanier Baer, Calgary

Campfire, 2013

David Hoffos - Lethbridge, Canada

Video Installation

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.


Cloud Gardens, 19 Richmond Street West

This project is outdoors.