I'm the sort who won't read a film review if I'm going to see the movie. They tear me up inside. Even learning the characters' names is enough to ruin the surprise. And so I'm flummoxed now, trying to talk about Albertan David Hoffos's Another City at the AGO, the latest instalment in the Present Tense gallery, a showcase of recent work by contemporary artists.I can tell you what happens when you approach the little room off a main gallery in the modern wing. Jet-black curtains, large and long and silky, lined at the bottom with pretty orange piping, billow from an entryway. Music seeps from behind them. Spacey and vulgar, the music's a little bit soundtrack, a little bit porno film, a little sci-fi.
People walk up and pass through the sheets, while others stick their heads inside, then turn and walk away without entering, moving past the guard with the long bone earrings on their way to the Inuit art.
I'm not being coy or trying to build this up like the end of a mystery. I'm not preparing the squeamish for a bowl of peeled grapes. What lies behind those curtains is something quite simple, wondrous and sublime -- if you grew up in a city where it was always night.
We should thank Hoffos, illusionist, miniaturist, mimic, auteur. He's created a world so like the flashy, erotic, monied world of adults as envisioned by children that you're seduced into imagining, all over again, that what lies in your future will look something like this. email@example.com
DAvid hoffos at the Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas West) to September 8. 416-979-6648. Rating: NNNNN