Toronto - The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)’s Institute for Contemporary Culture (ICC) presents Shapeshifters, Time Travellers and Storytellers, the first ICC-organized exhibition in the Roloff Beny Gallery in the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal. This thought-provoking exhibition showcases new and existing works by eight leading contemporary Aboriginal artists. Incorporating evocative objects from the Museum’s collections, the exhibition features video, sound, sculpture, drawings, painting and performance art to explore the ways in which past and present continue to merge and shape one another. Co-curated by Candice Hopkins and Kerry Swanson in partnership with the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, Shapeshifters, Time Travellers and Storytellers will be on display from October 6, 2007 to February 28, 2008.

This exhibition features eight striking installations, including more than 25 individual artworks, by internationally renowned Canadian artists Suvinai Ashoona, Faye HeavyShield, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Isuma Productions (Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn), Brian Jungen, Nadia Myre, Kent Monkman and American artist Alan Michelson. Five of the eight works have been created specifically for this exhibition.

“We’re pleased to present works by this outstanding group of artists, many of whom have had the opportunity to visit our First Peoples’ archives and respond to both the ROM’s collections and the museum’s new architecture,” said William Thorsell, ROM Director and CEO. “By linking the contemporary with the historical – a prominent theme explored by the ICC – the artists have created powerful juxtapositions for visitors to experience.”

Presented in the ICC’s 6,300 square-foot space on Level 4 of the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, the exhibition brings together contemporary elements and historical objects from the ROM’s Canadian First Peoples’ collections, including an 1899 carved mammoth tusk from Alaska, an Iroquois turtle wampum bag, a mid-19th century Paul Kane painting and 20th century Inuit drawings. Each installation merges past and the present, truth and fiction, story and reality and challenges the idea of time as a linear narrative. For the artists, time and space occupy multiple vantage points in a manner that is cyclical, layered and, at times, paradoxical.

“We are excited to have the opportunity, the first in the ROM's history, to showcase the work of contemporary multi-disciplinary Aboriginal artists, many of whom utilize the latest technologies in their work, together with works from the ROM's collection of historical artifacts from Canada’s First Peoples,” said co-curators Candice Hopkins and Kerry Swanson.