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Curator’s note: Anders Tomren was the very first artist I got to know when I arrived in Helsinki many years ago. (He was attending art school here). We’ve stayed in touch and I had a year ago first invited him to show anything he would like to at Love&Money. Here’s his verbatim response (via Facebook Messenger, of course):
When you asked me to show some works at Love&Money, I know you had in mind some of my more sculptural works, installations, videos etc. I was thinking about it for a bit but decided to show something that is less inside the art world, less pretentious, less high-coded, but that I consider very important for myself. Way back at the academy one professor Lauri Antilla, suggested to me that for a moment every day I put everything away in my head that was focusing on my current big important art project – and have a one hour exercise: use one hour a day to do something that was free of all high level conceptual art and was contextually free from the art world. I followed his advice; every morning from 9-10 I made a small sculpture or drawing. I did this for a year or more, and the result was interesting. The small works from that daily hour went from being an exercise to being the best art I made that year, they actually ended up in a large show in Belgium where four of the works were stolen from the museum.
I have been working with a lot of different things, been restless, wanting to learn, being curious all the time. I started my film/advertising production company Racecar the same time as I did the Venice Biennale. I presented large shows as an artist, but was drawn to working with architecture, creating concepts for shops, hotels, TV Productions, News and Sports concepts – and then I started my current company offering robotic broadcast media solutions.
I don’t claim that all this is because of the one-hour free thinking exercises from years ago, but it is all about creativity. To me, it doesn’t matter if it is defined as art or not – the world now contains so much communication, so many images, that it has gotten hard to think. It’s good to have free time and space to think and express yourself without any real pressure to deliver.
The way I work continues to mean I do a lot of different things, and one of these things is traveling. At some point I got quite bored and so with my phone I made a drawing on top of a picture that I had taken – a scribble, a mere doodle. I have since that day on nearly every trip used from 10 minutes to one hour during my flights and my time at the airport to make a drawing or photo to get my head free doing something silly, develop an idea, think up a picture, make something for myself. I wanted to show images from this series not because I think it is art, but because it contains the energy of creativity and play. It doesn’t pretend to be anything important, big or high, but comes only from the pure joy of ideas. We need this to move forward and develop.
All images are made on an airport or in a plane on my I-phone 8, Photoshop or Keynote.