General info
Toronto, Canada
Toni Hafkenscheid is a Toronto based photographer originally from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In 1989, he graduated from the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and shortly thereafter moved to Toronto.
He has exhibited in solo and group shows throughout Canada, the U.S., Japan and Europe.
Sam is working on the final edit of the documentary"Relics of the Future"
It will be shown at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary in February 2014.
HO Artist statement
The most fascinating aspect of photography for me is the fact that it so closely resembles reality. In my work I like to explore what constitutes fact and fiction in a photograph by trying to blur the limits between reality and fiction. Although these photographs represent an actual place, the way I photograph them, makes the landscape look like model train sets.
When I was a kid I loved to play my model train set.
The train tracks were set in an artificial landscape of fake cotton wool trees, plastic buildings, and cardboard mountains, with little fake men and women walking, shopping, etc. When looking at this landscape at a normal distance, you almost felt like God, high above this artificial world and in total control of it as well. If you looked close enough (eyes about 2 inches above the train tracks) though this world would start to look almost real again.
In this series of photographs I try to play with this illusion of real and fake in the landscape by utilizing a shallow depth of field to make some parts of the image soft and others in focus. The colours in the photographs are tweaked to look like old postcards and recall a certain American dream, an idealized view of an immediate future typical of the 1950’s .
Confabulation Artist Statement
A confabulation is a fantasy that has unconsciously emerged as a
factual account in memory. A confabulation may be based partly
on fact or be a complete construction of the imagination.

In this series of photographs I am using the family snapshot to explore fact and fiction in the photograph. I am particularly interested in the snapshot as a keeper of memories and how we (re)construct our past by looking at these snapshots. As someone with a really bad memory I often find that when looking through family photo albums I am using the photographs to fill in the blanks in my past. Events that I had totally forgotten about suddenly become clear again because the photograph is there to prove it actually happened. The weird sensation I often have though is that not until I come face to face with the photograph I actually recall that event.
The idea behind this series is that if these family snapshots are shaping my past, then what would happen if you add or replace photographs in the family album. If photography is a surrogate for memory can you falsify these memories by creating fake family snapshots?
In 1969 my mom died of cancer. I was 10 years old and of course this event had a huge impact on our family. Family life came to a stand still and my happy childhood was over. When I browse through the family photo albums there is a clear separation of before and after that fateful event. Before my moms’ death there were lots of photographs of our family doing family stuff. This is the period my dad refers to as: “the times we were still happy”. For a while after my mom’s death one or two photographs were added to the family photo album every year but at some point this stopped all together.
With this series of photographs I want to fill this void in the family photo album. I am going to pretend that nothing happened and fill the family album with those happy Brady Bunch moments that I know from TV and that I always thought that my family got robbed of.
Relics of the Future Artist Statement
For the series Relics of the Future I am exploring our erstwhile visions of an American future as seen from a 1950’s- 60’s point of view. I am looking at structures built in that era that represent an idealized view of a future with it’s belief in technology, a sense of optimism, and a promise of better days ahead.
I was born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands 14 years after World War 2. During the war the city centre was completely destroyed. Instead of rebuilding the city and make it look like it did before the war, it was decided that the city should look like a North American city with modern architecture. As Germany, the motor of the European economy, underwent it’s enormous economic recovery, so did Rotterdam. (During that time Rotterdam was considered the biggest port in the world). The city flourished, there was a sense of hope and a belief in a better future. As a child I remember hearing the constant noise of pile driving as the city was being constructed. I also remember looking towards North America with a sense of envy, as a place where people really dared to dream big by building superhighways, towers and dams.
These photographs symbolize that American dream and a feeling of progress, success, and power. I am hoping to capture that excitement I felt as a kid, while at the same time realizing that now, almost half a century later those structures are relics of a future that never came to pass.
Portraits Artist Statement
The enclosed series of photographs consists of large (30 X 30 inch) Ektacolour prints. They have been selected from two bodies of work: (1) environmental portraits of people in their homes; and (2) narrative photographs which depict a fictional event.
In 1989 I began the first body of work, the environmental portraits, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. This series was inspired by glimpses into other people's homes. At night when the curtains are open, living rooms often resemble a small theatre. This theatre aspect is emphasized by the quality of the light. Most rooms at night have a kind of glow which makes them appear cosy and intimate. The lighting in these photographs is artificial and dramatic and the colours are lush. These images are intended to be both voyeuristic and seductive and to provide windows into private moments in the subject's home environment. In 1991 I continued this project in a number of Canadian cities, specifically, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Quebec City. Most of the staging in these photographs, like my earlier series, was determined by my choice of lighting and the specific location. Even though the rooms were often claustrophobic and bizarre looking, they were, in fact, real. The resulting images conveyed a sense of authenticity. These images are, after all, meant to be environmental portraits. Gradually, I became more interested in manipulating the content of the image, which lead to my second body of work. It has occurred to me that I could actually create my own world in these photographs and somehow retain that sense of reality.
The second body of work plays with the idea of what constitutes fact and fiction in a photograph. With commonplace settings (i.e., living rooms, bedrooms), I attempt to give the photographs a sense of reality. The blatant staging and overdramatization of emotions and gestures in the pictures, alternatively, operate to create a sense of fiction. By photographing fictional characters I intend to create a series of narratives and anecdotes portraying the unfolding of events which reveal my own personal desires, fantasies and problems.
2013 Relics of the Future #2, Birch Libralato Gallery, Toronto
2012 Relics of the Future, Packer Schopf Gallery, Chicago
3 x 3 Photographers - Exposure 2012, Herringer Kiss Gallery, Calgary
2011 Exposures 2011, Herringer Kiss Gallery, Calgary
2010 Two Portraits of my dad, Convenience Gallery, Toronto
Iconic America, Pearson Airport, Toronto
Relics of the Future #1, Birch Libralato Gallery, Toronto
Life Models, Hamilton Printmakers Association, Hamilton
Gallery Jones, Vancouver
2009 RCA Visual, St. John’s, NFLD
Forest City Gallery, London, ON
2008 Gallery Jones, Vancouver, BC
George Billis Gallery, LA
Confabulation, Birch Libralato Gallery, Toronto (CONTACT 2008)
Drake Hotel, Toronto
Klondike Institute of Art and Culture, Dawson City, YU
In The Mind’s Eye, Niagara Arts Centre, Niagara Falls, ON
2007 Handheld Landscape, AKA Gallery, Saskatoon, SK
HO, Hartcourt House, Edmonton, AB
Not to scale, Packer Schopf Gallery, Chicago, IL
2006 AXENEO7, Gatineau, QC
Artspace, Peterborough, ON
Birch Libralato Gallery, Toronto (CONTACT 2006)
Galerie VU, Quebec City
Skew gallery, Calgary, AB
2005 Marcia Wood Gallery, Atlanta, GA
Aron Packer Gallery, Chicago, IL
Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond, BC
Alternator Gallery, Kelowna , BC
PLATFORM, Winnipeg, MB
Eye Level, Halifax, NS
Artcite, Windsor, ON
2004 Robert Birch gallery, Toronto (CONTACT 2004)
2002 VIA Rail station, Montreal
Lee Ka-Sing Gallery, Toronto
Dazibao Gallery, Montreal
2001 Robert Birch Gallery, Toronto
2000 2 from Canada, CEPA, Buffalo, N.Y.

2012 Untrue North, Yukon Arts Centre, Whitehorse
Noorderlicht International Photo festival, the Netherlands
2010 9 establishing shots on TTC subway monitors in Toronto
2007 Denver International Airport, Denver, CO
2006 Super models, Open Space, Victoria, BC
Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO
2005 Focused, PCN, Seattle, WA
Renaissance Society, Chicago, IL
Beyond/in Western NY, CEPA, Buffalo, NY
Neverlands, Montreal (Le Mois de la photo)
Recent acquisitions, Doris McCarthy Gallery, Toronto
Escaping: Fugitive Geography , Drake Hotel, Toronto
Part/Object, St. Francis College, Chicago,IL
Art with Heart, Bau-Xi Gallery, Toronto
2004 Drive, Skew Gallery, Calgary
Connect the dots, CBC Radio 3 tour, across Canada
2002 the Home Show, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg
2001 Argument, Spin Gallery, Toronto
2000 Documenting Eye, Art Cite, Detroit Focus 2000
Intersections, Toronto, Montreal
1999 Persistent Documents, Canadian Embassy, Tokyo
1998 Persistent Documents, The Photographers Gallery, Saskatoon, SK
Urban Spaces, Berlage Instituut, Amsterdam
1997 Plastic Fantastic, E3 Gallery, New York
Contact ‘97, Robert Birch Gallery, Toronto
CEPA, Buffalo, N.Y.
1996 Eastern Edge, St. Johns, NFLD
1996 Floating Gallery, Winnipeg
1995 Beauty #2, The Power Plant, Toronto
Le Mois de la Photo, Montreal
Beauty #2, The Power Plant, Toronto
Feeding the Fire, White Water Gallery, North Bay, ON
1994 The Family, Canadian Museum for Contemporary Photography, Ottawa
CEPA, Buffalo, NY

GRANTS/AWARDS (selection)
2012 Ontario Arts Council, Project Grant
2011 Canada Arts Council Project Grant
2010 Ontario Arts Council, Project Grant
2009 Canada Arts Council Project Grant
2008 Ontario Arts Council, Exhibition Assistance Grant
2007 Canada Arts Council Project Grant
Ontario Arts Council, Exhibition Assistance Grant
2006 Ontario Arts Council, Project Grant
Ontario Arts Council, Exhibition Assistance Grant
Canada Arts Council Project Grant
2005 Ontario Arts Council, Exhibition Assistance Grant
2004 Toronto Arts council, Project Grant
Ontario Arts Council, Project Grant
2002 The Netherlands Council for the Arts, Project Grant
1995 The Banff Centre for the Arts Photography program
Canada Council B Grant
Ontario Arts Council B Grant
1994 Canada Council Short Term Grant
1993 Ontario Arts Council B Grant
1992 Canada Council B Grant
1989 The Netherlands Council for the Arts, Early Career Award, Kodak Award, Netherlands

2013 Now Magazine: Birch Twin Bill: Pattison and Hafkenscheid meet
2012 Noorderlicht International Photo festival, Catalogue Cover
Vrij Nederland, Noorderlicht International Photo festival
PF Magazine, Noorderlicht International Photo festival
2010 Toronto Star: Surprises in Store… by Murray Whyte
National Post: Tiny Happy People by Leah Sandals
Mass Art Guide: Future Past by Monika Burman
Toronto Star: Last Chances… by Murray Whyte
Flight + Hotel: a Tiny View by Rhonda Olson
2009 Blackflash Magazine: Too Good to be True: Toni Hafkenscheid’s Confabulations
2008 Globe and Mail: An Epic view of our Everyday World
Now Magazine: Is Analog Photography Dead?
2007 See Magazine, Edmonton: Keeping it unreal
The Edmonton Journal: Photographer challenges reality in newest exhibit
Time Out Chicago, Not to Scale
Galleries West: Handheld Landscape
Galleries West Magazine: First Impressions
2006 Ciel Variable Magazine, review by Sylvain Campeau
Seesaw Magazine: ModelWorld
PHOTOGRAPHY NOW 100 Portfolios on DVD, Wright University
SuperModels, catalogue by Open Space
Not To Scale: catalogue by AXENEO7
Calgary Herald: Lilliput, Canada
Globe and Mail: Real Life rendered make believe
2005 Image and Imagination: catalogue Mois de la Photo, Montreal
Atlanta Review: Take me back
Winnipeg Free Press: Mysterious photos….
Chicago Reader: Ceci n’est pas un Truckstop
Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY Beyond/in Western NY
Beyond Magazine: Small
Photo Pictorial: HO
2004 Canadian Art Magazine: National Capital
Subject Matters: new photographic realism, by Blake Fitzpatrick
Macleans’s Magazine: Master of Illusion
the Globe and Mail: Contact 2004
2003 Home Show (catalogue by James Patten, WAG)
2002 the Globe and Mail: Home is where the art is
Prefix Photo Magazine
Now Magazine, Toronto: Guns and Toys: Rineke Dijkstra and Toni Hafkenscheid
2001 Argument (catalogue by P. Elaine Sharpe)
2000 Canadian Art Magazine
1998 FOTO, Holland
1996 Border Crossings, Canada
1995 Beauty #2, Toronto (catalogue by Philip Monk)
Le Mois de la Photographie a Montreal (catalogue)
Fotofeis 95, Edinburgh

COLLECTIONS (selection):
Canadian Museum for Contemporary Photography (CMCP), Ottawa
Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa
Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) Art Rental Program, Toronto
Kodak France
Kodak Netherlands
University of Toronto
Foreign Affairs Canada
TD Bank
Royal Bank Canada
Bank of Montreal
/Users/tonihafkenscheid/Desktop/images for Krop Website/too good to be true #1.pdf
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