Jaanika Peerna. Photo: Kris Lillemets

Daily Dozen with New York-based Estonian artist Jaanika Peerna 0


Jaanika Peerna is an Estonian-born artist living and working near New York since 1998. Currently she is based in Berlin for one year. Her work encompasses drawings, videos and light installations often dealing with the theme of transitions in light, air, water and other natural phenomena. She is often involved in collaborative projects working with designers, dancers and musicians. She has exhibited her work extensively in the entire New York metropolitan area as well as in Paris, Tallinn, Lisbon, Sofia, Dubai, Honolulu, Novosibirsk and Rome. Her work is represented in the United States by Masters Projects  in New York and ARC Fine Art in Connecticut.

Performace in Ravenna. Photo: Enzo Pezzi

After her exhibition in Ravenna, Italy, where Peerna transformed the three large gallery spaces into an all-encompassing site-specific installation using large-scale graphite drawings on mylar and video projections, Arterritory asked her to tell about her future projects:

“On April 15, I will have a first solo exhibition in Finland opening at AARNI gallery in Espoo, where I am showing a large scale drawing and video installation. In May a two-person show opens in Berlin at Rowland/Kutchera’s space. Although I have been doing live drawing performances for quite some time now, I hesitated when the Grüntaler9 curator invited me to perform a durational, four-hour-long piece at Berlin Performance Month on May 4, in Berlin. I accepted the invite recently and do wonder myself what the experience will bring… Some interesting group exhibitions in Moscow and Paris await this Fall, which still need some time to cook.”

Performance in Berlin. Photo: Reelika Ramot

What’s the best moment of your day?

Morning in my studio, knowing there is nothing but studio-time ahead for the whole day...

Why do you work as an artist?

To understand, reflect and battle, as well as rejoice in the world around me.

Which films, concerts, exhibits, or books have left a lasting impression on you? 

The “Third Mind : American Artists Contemplating Asia, 1860-1898” exhibition at the Guggenheim NY  in 2009, Andrei Tarkovsky's “Solaris”, Tõnu Onnepalu's “Paradiis”, Dan Flavin, and experiencing James Turrell’s “Meeting” , a long-term, site-specific installation at PS1 MOMA..

Photo: Enzo Pezzi

Where do you currently get ideas for your works? 

From the air, the spaces in between and falling water.

Which work(s) of art would you like to have in your possession?

I like to travel light through life.. but I wouldn’t say no to having access to Doug Wheeler’s SA MI DW SM 2 75 Continuum Atmospheric Environment 

at any moment .

What do you do when you’re not occupied with art?

It is often hard to make the difference between one and the other kind of time; they seem to have a  lovely way of crossing and dissolving into one another. Administrating art career occupies much of my time, but then again, this might count as being occupied with art, no?

Do you sleep a lot?

I prefer to. 15 years after my son was born, I am still very protective of my sleep hours.

Liquid Light, 2013

Do you collect anything?

I'm trying not to. At least not physical objects.

What is one of the most important things in your studio?

The Light.

What do you like to eat, and what don’t you like?

I love my Estonian-childhood type of dark rye bread with a slice of hard boiled egg and fresh cucumber on it. Sun-warmed black currants straight from the bush…yum! Anything eaten too fast loses it’s taste..

 When you were a kid, what did you want to be?

A figure skater winning the Winter Olympics ..

Name three creative individuals, from any era, with whom you’d gladly spend an evening.

Max Picard, Baruch Spinoza and Pina Bausch. But I would probably prefer to spend it in silence. 

Storm Series, 2013