Absolut has a sterling track record in support of visual arts. From the brand’s famed advertisements (produced by the likes of Warhol, Scharf, Haring, and Hirst ) to the Absolut Art Award, the brand’s pulse beats through the art world. The latest project, 365 Days, is curated by Thomas Nordanstad and explores creativity in different places around the world. The project kicked off in mid-May with 5 Days in La Roma – an event that included globally-acclaimed artists Rirkrit Tiravanija, Miguel Calderon, Mario Garcia Torres, Laureana Toledo, Sam Samore, and Carl Michael von Hausswolff all presenting new works (mostly films) in Mexico City.
To learn more about the project, we caught up with Thomas Nordanstad. Check our Q&A after the jump. And, above, view a recap video of 5 Days in La Roma.
CR: How did the idea for 365 days develop?
TN: The idea of 365 days has to do with a global initiative of engaging in the actual process of the making and production of films, installations, performances and art.
For me 365 days, is a way of referencing time and the fact that an artists work and life runs parallel and is not a 9-5 job in the normal sense. It is also a reference to how we “spotlight” certain places for a limited number of days, isolating or focusing on a city, a neighborhood or similar. WE will also make films etc called “one day in the life of” and hang out with different artists, filmmakers etc during a day. Thirdly, 365 is for me a way of describing something round and evolving, something global without using the word “global”.
CR: How do you select the cities and spaces you engage with?
TN: Except for New York which was very closely attached with the collaboration with filmmaker Spike Jonze, I try to choose places with extraordinary energy that are not the expected metropolitans like Paris, London etc. Mexico city was one such city, and especially the neighborhood of La roma in Mexico city. Next up is hopefully Bombay and after that I want to do Krakow. For same reasons..
CR: Absolut has a terrific history of working with artists who are, let’s say, at mid-career. Is there an impetus to connect with younger stars of the art world? How important is it to stay current?
TN: It is very important to stay current, and I don´t quite agree with you assessment. Nobody really knew the work of Keren Cytter when she received the Absolut Art award two years ago for instance. Douglas Gordon was fresh out of art school when he did his Absolut collaboration Maurizio Cattelan hadn´t had a museum show etc. But it is also important that people in the “know” actually have a reference to the artists we work with.