VESSNA PERUNOVICH at Angell Gallery (12 Ossington) to February 23. 416-530-0444. See listing. Rating: NNNN
Vessna Perunovich, like fellow Serb Marina Abramovic, is adept at making bold statements with sparse conceptual materials. Her new show, Stills: Moments Of Extreme Consequence, focuses on instants of tension between immobility and movement.
Judging from her use of materials, these moments are primal. Many sculptures contain her signature blood-red stockings stuffed with sand, stretched into amorphous objects that hover uneasily between the inorganic and the visceral.
She's also fascinated by the way accidental events give way to pattern and form. Much of her painted work begins with spills of red or milky white paint.
Ripple, for instance, consisting of two canvases joined at the seam between the floor and a wall, is a white spill undulating on a black surface, over which a series of drawn graphite lines carefully retrace the paint's geologic flow.
The Window Of Opportunity starts with a formal process to produce an image with metaphysical weight. On a giant sheet of black paper, the silvery graphite spiral (ending in a circular void at the centre) resembles a ghostly tunnel between worlds.
In performance, Perunovich's statements can become much more literal and politically pointed. In A Sudden Appearance Of Many Magdalenes, a group of women dressed in white, each representing Mary Magdalene, appear in Last Supper formation at a table, performing choreographed movements that evoke the history of hysteria and scandal projected onto this controversial Biblical figure.
In the end, Perunovich, like Louise Bourgeois, addresses embodiment at its most mysterious level: subject to sudden changes, flows and limits, capricious in its richness and sudden pleasures.