March 15, 2007

David Hoffos, Scenes from the House Dream: Phase 5

“The dream is a little hidden door in the innermost and most secret recesses of the soul.” —Carl Jung.

TrepanierBaer is pleased to present the premier exhibition of Scenes from the House Dream: Phase 5, by David Hoffos. In this final phase of Hoffos’ mesmerizing series of illusionary installations co-produced by TrépanierBaer, the artist takes the viewer inside the actual house in his dreams. “In previous scenes, there have been things that stand in for the house, like a yacht or a trailer,” says Hoffos, but Phase Five will be focused on “a more domestic environment.”

Begun in 2003, Hoffos’ five-phase installation has become well known for its technologically conjured effects harking back to early forms of cinema and magic lantern shows. Secret doorways, hidden hallways, and miniature scenes peopled by ethereal figures draw the viewer into the artist’s subconscious dream world. Hovering between illusion and reality, the viewer is afforded a glimpse into the workings of Hoffos’ nocturnal world, while simultaneously participating in its physical construction.

The house is a Jungian archetype for the self, claims Hoffos, who says that his House Dream series is a kind of “personalized architecture of the self.” Looking back on previous scenes from the series, Hoffos notes that the series reads like an elegy to anxiety, stress and depression–“signals of what I think is really the quintessential modern condition.” Phase 5 of Scenes from the House Dream will continue the series, referring to and filling in some of the gaps from previous phases. Hoffos will continue work on new scenes over the next year. Plans to show all five phases of the House Dream project in one installation are now in the works, with a possible opening date slotted for the fall of 2008.

David Hoffos was born in Montréal in 1966 and currently lives and works in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. He received his BFA with Great Distinction from the University of Lethbridge in 1994 and has maintained an active exhibition career since 1991. His film, video and installation works have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Canada, Europe, and the United States. This past February, Hoffos took part in a panel discussion organized by Anthony Kiendl at the Tate Modern in London, which was part of a symposium entitled Informal Architecture. The discussion explored relationships between architecture, public space and time. This theme will be further explored at the Banff Centre in May, where Hoffos will serve as Fellow/Peer advisor for a thematic residency titled Imaginary Places. His work will be featured at a follow-up exhibition at the Walter Phillips Gallery in Banff opening June 22. Hoffos will exhibit Bachelor’s Bluff from his Scenes From the House Dream : Phase 4 in an exhibition titled Projections at the University of Toronto’s art galleries (April 8 – June 17). Curated by Barbara Fischer, the show is the first major survey to trace the emergence and development of projection-based installation in the history of contemporary Canadian art from the1960’s to the present. Opening May 10th, Hoffos’ Scenes from the House Dream: Phase 5 will be exhibited in La Biennale de Montreal: Crack the Sky, curated by Wayne Baerwaldt.

Hoffos is the recipient of numerous project grants awarded by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and the 2002 recipient of the prestigious Sobey Art Award (second prize). His work can be found in public and private collections across Canada and Europe.