It could be that Ilona Jäntti is equal parts bird, spider, and inquisitive little girl enjoying her playground. Whatever alchemy of natural impulses drives her, air is her essential element. And geometry is her playmate.

In one sequence, the Finnish aerialist gives dimension to Flatland, playing with her colorful imaginary friends. In the next, she’s a classic circus performer entwining her ballet with the single horizontal line provided by her trapeze. Before you know it, she chasing multiple lines of thought along ropes that bend under her, twist around her, and hold her aloft.

It’s only when she’s standing on the ground that a different alchemy suggests itself. One created by shadow and light and rendered in oil paint. Not her playground at all. This one belongs to Vermeer.

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