Judith Hoffman
My work explores our elemental need for a secure sense of home, whether permanent or ephemeral, embodied in the spaces, communities and structures within which we live. It also investigates a countervailing impulse to abandon and escape those same places. This interaction surfaces not only the impermanence of places we rely on as durable repositories for our identities, hopes and dreams; it also considers the material construction of objects disclosing the normally concealed conditions of production. I seek to understand the materially fleeting but ideologically persistent “American Dream”.







The longer version....
My work investigates human relationships to sanctuary. It engages our elemental need for a secure sense of home - whether permanent or ephemeral - embodied in the spaces, communities and structures within which we live our daily lives. It also simultaneously acknowledges a countervailing - if not always wholly conscious - impulse to abandon, escape or even destroy those same sanctuaries when they begin to stultify us. In my sculpture, I address the tension inherent in sanctuary on both literal and metaphorical levels. Depending on the site location, my sculptures are acted upon by both natural elements and the viewing audience. Through this process, one sees a recapitulation of the natural life of a place of refuge as object (a home, a school, a gallery, a factory), but in an accelerated form and time frame that is actually observable given the nature of the materials that I use. This type of interaction brings to the surface not only the inescapable impermanence of places we rely on as durable repositories for our identities, our hopes and dreams; it also asks the viewer to consider the meaning of sanctuary in his or her own life, pressing the “idea” of home or refugee into productive – and hopefully demystifying – contact with the material construction of an object of sanctuary, disclosing the normally concealed conditions of its production. Exposing and interrogating “sanctuary” through sculpture, my work seeks to understand the materially fleeting but ideologically persistent “American Dream.”