Vessna Perunovich: (W)hole/House in Exile at A Space Gallery (401 Richmond West) as part of the Images Festival of Independent Film and Video, to May 1. 416-979-9633. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
It's not every day that we think of atomic bombs as part of home. But home is a more fragile and transient place than we like to admit, and that's what Vessna Perunovich addresses in her video installation (W)hole/House In Exile, at A Space . Anyone who, like the artist, has experienced the state of exile knows the inherent instability of the home construct. To illustrate that point, the house Perunovich builds out of elastic bands can stretch, bend, cast shadows, protect or cage at any given moment.
A video montage of familiar comforts is projected through the house onto the gallery wall. As the moon reflects and dances on the water, for example, we hear crickets and sigh at the wonderment of nature and our place within it. Honey, I'm home.
Before long, the videos blur and panic strikes. Home's comfort is transformed into hell as violent atomic bomb footage comes on. Welcome to houses in exile.
The images and sounds of explosions are powerful, but Perunovich's gimmicky approach disappoints. All subtlety is lost when she uses humankind's worst creation to so blatantly threaten her safe haven.
But the small house pinned to the back wall of the gallery is more interesting. Constructed with pins and elastics, the two-dimensional model challenges you to determine the form and definition for yourself. All together, the pins and elastics support the frame of the house, though they seem ready to give at any moment. email@example.com