I dreamed I was Moomin Papa, who dreamed that…(Moscow)

Installation in the Moscow International Book Fair 3–8.9. 2008

The installation previously shown in St Petersburg and Turku ended in the Moscow Book Fair.

Curator Maria Korosteleva commissioned Andersson to make an installation for the Anna Akhmatova Museum. She wanted a contemporary artist’s view of the Moomin trolls to be made as an interactive installation for children. Andersson wrote a story (published below) to inspire the installation and out of it sprung the sculpture of the Moomin papa with a fir tree growing from his stomach. The Moomin papa’s arms are casted from Andersson’s arms and the feet from Andersson’s assistant’s feet. The moomin trolls usually don’t show any genitals, but here you can get a hint; Moomin papa’s genitals are hidden under a white leaf.
Three connected cabins were designed by Andersson along with a pier broken by ice, forming interesting paths and views for children and adults to explore. Children from day care centers and schools in St Petersburg, Turku and Moscow made furniture and art works for the interiors and the exterior.

I Dreamed that I was the Moomin Papa who Dreamed that…
One beautiful autumn day, when the blue sky was pouring its clear, sharp light over the leaves, which had taken the colours shifting from yellow to bright orange, the Moomin Papa went to collect the fir tree needles he needed to nourish him for his long winter sleep. As you all know, the Moomin trolls sleep during the winter.
This year the needles looked very thick and green and the Moomin Papa looked forward to his meal. He walked slowly through the forest, thinking about all the things he would do next summer, when we would wake up and the winter would be gone!
What about tasting some of the needles right now! They look so delicious! “I think I sit down on this rock and taste one”, thought Moomin papa. One needle became two and three and four and even more so after a while he had had so many that he could not take one more needle whitout throwing them all up. Moomin papa felt dizzy and thought he had take a little nap before walking back home.
Soon he fell asleep and dreamt he was lying on a pier. The winter had been very hard and the ice had broke up all the piers, making them take shapes like a roller coaster going crazy. He dreamt he had been sleeping on the pier the whole winter because he had eaten way too many fir tree needles. When he looked at his stomach rising like a big snow covered mountain against the sky, he found that a fir tree had grown out of his stomach from the needles in the stomach!
And his was not enough. Somebody had been there during the winter and put Christmas decorations on the tree. So now he looked really funny! What would everybody think about this? And how could he go on living with a fir tree sticking out from his stomach?

Moomin Papa looked at the tree and tried to rise up. At the same time the tree fell forward and the decorations started to swing and some of them fell off. Moomin Papa looked at the tree once more and found it very, very beautiful. He could not dare to move, so that any of the decorations would fall off. Unable to rise, Moomin papa decided to fall asleed again, so that the tree could continue to bring beauty to the world! And so he did.

The weeks went by and his snoring sounds grew so strong that they made the snow, which covered the trees of the Moomin valley, to fall down. The dropping snow succeeded to wake up Stinky, who had problems to sleep, because all the bad things he had done haunted him in his sleep.” I better get up and see if there is something bad I could get done” Stinky thought .
The snow was falling quietly when he walked through the valley until he saw a beautiful Christmas tree with sparkling ornamentation growing on a small snow covered hill.
Stinky took his saw, which he had hidden in his black fur together with other strange and useful tools, and started to saw off the christmas tree. When he was ready and about to take the tree with him the earth under the tree started to move.
Oiii! Stinky got frightened and stuck the tree into the snow beside him and run away. He thought of coming back later to fetch the tree.
But it wasn’t an earth quake, it was the snow covered Moomin Papa who had woke up hearing sounds of a saw. When he opened his eyes he saw that the Christmas tree no longer was growing from his stomach. It sent it bright message from a snow heap close to him. Wow, I must have dreamt thought Moomin Papa, I dreamt the tree was growing from my stomach! I might as well go and wake up all the others in the family and show them this fantastic tree said Moomin papa, when he washed the snow off his fur and took the tree carefully in his arms.
But then he looked at his arms and they didn’t look like the arms of a Moomin troll, and neither did his feet! And what about the thoughts that started to float around in his head, there was noting familiar in them as well…help!

And suddenly I woke up.

Jan-Erik Andersson