Exercises for Lines is an unconventional art project where lines create a synergy out of the natural voice of human soul and gymnastics. An illuminated revolution gives the exhibition its specific accent where light and dark shades encounter in the white cube of Vaal gallery.
Artist Jaanika Peerna (1971) was born in Tallinn and since 1998 lives and works in New York. These works have been completed in Berlin where Peerna resided last year.
This is the artist's second solo exhibition held in Estonia – she has created a gym in the Vaal Gallery where both illusory and visible lines offer the possibility to test one's flexibility and resourcefulness. Peerna has applied 13-metre-long straight lines with freehand drawing technique – starting from the ceiling and ending by the floor. Shorter lines occupy the long wall on the upper floor of the gallery, providing the visitor with an opportunity to test one's abilities step by step.
Line has been one of the most important element in Peerna's artwork since the beginning of her artistic career in New York. She is convinced that visual art and a pleasure in movement are all connected to physical force that is intentionally used. This also includes drawing and creating seemingly primitive lines. The basis for it all is a purposeful system in our head.
For Jaanika Peerna, pencil and paper always go hand in hand including a deep connection between freedom and control since drawing is the medium that is used for almost in every field of art for creating sketches.
At first sight, every artwork of the present exhibition seems alike – however, all of them convey different meaning, compared to walking around in a palace where every hall forms a completely different world of its own, depending on specific light, rhythmics and mathematics – as a result of the combination of all of them an emotion is born. If professor Leonhard Lapin won't mind, his bard code artwork can be compared to Peerna's.
The process of drawing requires focused physical energy and concentration from the artist. It is the only way for freehand drawing of straight lines as seen in Peerna's work. The artist has applied the means of drawings, light art, video art, installation and performance in order to study the phenomenon of line. It can be observed in her recent works that the results of silent studio work and performance art are moving closer to physical effort and the process of drawing.
It seems that Jaanika Peerna wishes to express the idea that all of us live and walk along the lines of our lives, either purposefully or chaotically, either in the form of a parabola or a sine wave. The aim of the artist is to delineate the characteristic lines of force of a human body.
—Riin Kübarsepp, Postimees (estonian daily newspaper), September 9, 2014