Thursday, December 2, 2010

More Poe than Po-Mo? David Hoffos @ MOCCA, Bill Burns @ MKG127, T. Lansdowne @ Le

Frequent readers will likely have picked up on my affection for alliteration. (See! There it is again!) In my latest set of reviews for the National Post, I unleash this addiction again, for good or for ill, on David Hoffos' show at MOCCA (as well as, to a more limited extent, Bill Burns @ MKG127 and Tristram Lansdowne @ Le). Here's an excerpt:

David Hoffos at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art
952 Queen St. W., to Dec. 31

For the past few weeks, David Hoffos’ Scenes from the House Dream has been generating lineups at MOCCA. And for good reason — Hoffos, who’s toiled in Lethbridge, Alta., for the past 20 years, has an output that’s distinctive in both its sense and its sensibility. His material technique precisely arranges analogue TVs, picture frames, mirrors and dioramas to create a unique, physically immersive virtual reality. And his moods are steadfastly eerie, with a touch that’s more Poe than po-mo. The result at MOCCA is several small, magical scenes: a man throwing rocks off a cliff at night; a strange light landing at a town’s edge; a ghostly trailer-side apparition and more. Shadowy life-sized figures lurk in the dark as well. Though frightful at times, it’s all good — one of the most compelling tensions in Hoffos’ work is the way his melancholy, noir content contrasts with his seeming delight at its elaborate staging. Interestingly, the exhibition itself also has a chimerical, now-you-see-it quality — though Hoffos has shown extensively to acclaim in other parts of Canada for years, this is pretty much the first time Hogtowners have gotten a good look at him. Lesson learned: The “hinterland” has an artistic who’s who, too.

Read on here at the Posted Toronto blog for the other reviews. (The story will also be in print on Saturday if you prefer it that way.)

(Image from David Hoffos' Scenes from the House Dream, Winter Kitchen via Posted Toronto)

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