Shifting Shelter
Vessna Perunovich

Curated by Magda Gonzalez-Mora

Shifting Shelter establishes a thoughtful introduction to the politics of transcultural migrations in the oscillating global system, at a crossroads where displacement manifests itself as one of the predominant geopolitical characteristics of living generations. Perunovich teaches us how to confront a place in our lifetime where past, present and future have lapsed, understanding the phenomenon of migration as a continuous and dynamic line of destabilization, of rooting and uprooting, which manifest a need to link past with the current. Perunovich’s reflections on her own life and the human condition universally, attempt to counteract and resist the setbacks of the present and offer a key contribution to discourses related to cross-cultural migrations.

Vessna Perunovich is a Toronto-based internationally acclaimed interdisciplinary artist whose work embraces painting, drawing, sculpture, video, performance and installation. Vessna Perunovich works with issues around home, displacement, identity, the notions of mobility and boundaries. Born and educated in Former Yugoslavia, Perunovich moved to Toronto Canada in the late 1980s. Perunovich has exhibited extensively both in Canada and abroad. She took part in a number of international exhibitions including biennials in Cuba, Albania, England, Portugal, Yugoslavia and Greece and attended the international residencies in Berlin, Bursa, Banff, New York and China. Her work was recently included in exhibitions at National Museum in Taiwan, Republic of China, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Vojvodina, Serbia, ArtYard, Frenchtown, USA, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Canada and Goethe Institute in Serbia.

Magda Gonzalez-Mora is an Independent Curator, Art Critic and Consultant based in Toronto, Canada. Magda was a founder of Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Centre in 1984, developing her career as a member of the founding curatorial team of the Havana Biennale for over 16 years. She was a co-curator for the 1st Johannesburg Biennale in 1998 and the Dakar Biennale, 1992. She was a curator for the Sherritt International Collection of Contemporary Cuban Art of the Art Gallery of Ontario, AGO, and guest curator for Mattress Factory, Pittsburg; two editions of Nuit Blanche Toronto (at the Royal Ontario Museum and Fort York); the Luminato Festival of Toronto; ArtYard in Frenchtown, NJ; and for international art fairs such as ARCO, Madrid; Pulse at Basel Miami; Loop International Video Art Fair, Barcelona.

Image: Shifting Shelter, 2017 (installation detail)


Exhibition Dates

Sept 12 – Nov 2, 2019

Opening Reception

Thursday Sept 12 
5 PM – 8 PM

Gallery Hours

Tues – Fri, 12 – 6 PM
Sat, 12 – 4 PM

This exhibition is generously supported by the Ontario Arts Council 


All images courtesy Jeremy Pavka

Public Programs

Artist and Curator Talk and Tour with Vessna Perunovich and Magda Gonzalez-Mora
Friday September 13, 2019
11am and 2:30pm

Calgary Art Walk
Saturday September 21, 2019

Alberta Culture Days
Saturday September 28, 2019
Gallery tours: 11:30am, 1:30pm, 3:30pm

“Home is…” Mapping and Drawing Activity
Taking place in AUArts main mall from September 13 – October 1, 2019

Still Life Drawing
Taking place throughout the exhibition

All programs are free and open to the public