Double Pleasure, 2008
Tomasz Szrama (b. 1970 in Poland) graduated in 1998 from the Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw, Poland. Currently he lives in Helsinki, Finland. Szrama shifts between multiple disciplines, including photography, video, action and other time-based works. Regardless of the medium, a dominant thread, common in his work is the use of his own body and methods of performance art, which he has practiced since 1993. Characteristic features of his actions are the use of spectators, active participation of the audience and improvisation. Such a strategy embeds his presentations into the tradition of understanding performance art as a process art, where the very moment of creation is essential. His work touches on themes of travel, trust in interpersonal relationships, and the ever present potential for personal failure.
Szrama has been regularly performing internationally in numerous events and festivals in 30 countries across Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America. He works both in institutional contexts, venues such as the Museum Reina Sofia, Göteborgs Konsthall, Scandinavia House NYC, Bangkok Art Centre, Taidehalli in Helsinki, Ars Nova in Turku and in unique locations such as the deck of an aircraft, a ferry boat, a village in the Mexican desert, a yurt in the Mongolian steppe.
Further, over the past 17 years, he has organized over 50 live art events and festivals. Between 2005 and 2013 he co-organised with Willem Wilhelmus Art Contact and New Art Contact, a series of performance art events that took place in various locations in Helsinki. In 2011 he co-organised Fake Finn Festival of Experimental Live Art, which took over HIAP Gallery Augusta for three days, showcasing the work of 21 artists. In 2013 Szrama co-organised Uprooted Festival, a three-day event that presented 16 international and local artists at HIAP Gallery Augusta. Further, he, together with performance artist Liina Kuittinen, organized a series of events titled Tonight in 2014–2015. In 2016 he curated the 18th edition of the International Art Festival Interakcje in Poland. In 2018 he co curated with John Court the two day international festival State of Move in Helsinki’s Cable Factory.
Szrama has worked as a producer, designer, technical manager and has been responsible for organizing live art events at HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme. Currently he has been giving performance courses (i.e UNIARTS, SAMK, Art School MAA)
Szrama is a working grant recipient from the Arts Promotion Centre Finland for the year 2016, the years 2018–2020 and the year 2022, from the Kone Foundation for 2017 and the Finnish Cultural Foundation for 2021