Passing Through / Torn Formations

Join us for a screening of works by Canadian filmmakers Philip Hoffman and Milada Kovačova, framing unique experiences from their own respective pilgrimages in rural Czechoslovakia to ancestral villages, recounting and reliving familial tales through a diarist’s lens. Both films are presented on 16mm with artists in attendance.

Saturday August 19, 2017 / 7-9 pm / Forest City Gallery – 258 Richmond Street / Admission by donation – suggestion of 3$ – 5$ (no one is turned away)

Searching for My Mother’s Garden (Milada Kovačova, Canada, 1992) 13 minutes

passing through / torn formations (Philip Hoffman, Canada, 1988) 43 minutes

“SEARCHING FOR MY MOTHER’S GARDEN has been described as a whisper. Partially shot in the rural part of the former Czecho-Slovakia, this film investigates the phenomenon of no longer being rooted to a motherland yet being tied to one’s origins. This experimental film utilizes the womb as a pivotal point from which to delve into and weave together the Victorian medical diagnosis of Hysteria, with peasant women and Mother Mary’s stories.” – M. K.

“Philip Hoffman’s ‘passing through/torn formations’ is a wide open ramble through the labyrinth of memory, considered primarily as a family affair. The film deals with the life and history of Hoffman’s Czech-born mother and her family, as presented as a kind of polyphonic recitation of words, of images and of sounds.” – Robert Everett-Green, Globe & Mail

“passing through/torn formations’ accomplishes a multi-faceted experience for the viewer. It is a poetic document of family, for instance – but Philip Hoffman’s editing throughout is true thought process, tracks visual theme as the mind tracks shape, makes melody of noise and words as the mind recalls sound.” – Stan Brakhage


Milada Kovacova is a Toronto-based filmmaker and curator who spent her childhood both in North America and behind the Iron Curtain in Czecho-Slovakia. Beginning as a painter, Milada shifted to filmmaking in order to explore the possibilities of multi-layering in a time based medium. She holds several degrees including a BFA in Film Production from Concordia University. Her films have shown locally and internationally.

Born in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Philip Hoffman’s filmmaking began with his boyhood interest in photography. As semi-official historian of family life, Hoffman became intrigued by questions of reality in photography and later in cinema. After completing his formal education which includes a Diploma in Media Arts at Sheridan College and a Bachelor of Arts in Literature at Wilfrid Laurier University, Hoffman began working on his films, as well as teaching film, electronic and computer-based media in the Media Arts Program at Sheridan College. Currently Hoffman teaches in the Cinema and Media Arts Department at York University. A film artist of memory and association, Philip Hoffman has long been recognized as Canada’s pre-eminent diary filmmaker. He has been honored with more than a dozen retrospectives of his work and in 2016, received the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts. Since 1994, he has been the artistic director of the Independent Imaging Retreat (Film Farm), a 1 week workshop in artisanal filmmaking in Mount Forest, Ontario.

Forest City Gallery (FCG) is an artist-run centre founded on artistic autonomy with a commitment to excellence in programming exhibitions and events that reflect and address recent developments in cultural production. FCG serves to foster and support contemporary art, promoting dialogue amongst local, regional, and international arts communities. FCG represents artists of all disciplines and career levels with a focus on emergent artists and practices.

LOMAA is an emerging, enthusiastic and devoted non-profit artist-run collective that fosters collaboration, investigation and innovation by tapping into the talent and serving the needs of media artists in the London region.

LOMAA would like to thank the London Arts Council for their continued support.

Newsletter Sign-Up