Archive for the Photography Category

Steampunk and stomach flu in Poznan

Here’s the thing, I’m a bit of a lone wolf. I mean the kind that make other lone wolves go “That peculiar dude is a bit solitary, isn’t he?” It’s not that I don’t play well with others, I just play so very well with myself that I tend to forget that there are other people in the world.

But once in a while other people in the world poke me, and go “I have an idea, and I think you would fit right in”. That happened this autumn. Ewelina Dudaszek – an artist in Poznan, Poland poked me and suggested we should collaborate on some projects she had in mind. It sounded like an adventure, and I had been shuffling around by myself in my lair for so long that I had almost forgot human language and mostly communicated with grunts and scents, so I packed my bag and jumped on a plane to Poznan.

I’m not very surprised that I ended up in Poland. Again. We have a thing me and Poland. While we are on opposite planets when it comes to politics and religiousness, I connect often and easily with Polish art and artists. We seem to speak the same bleak language of melancholy. And I always feel at home and comfortable in Poland.

It was fun as hell to collaborate with Ewelina. While we have enough in common aesthetically to play well together, we are also different enough to make it exciting. One big difference is how we approach creating. I make it up as I go. I almost never plan a shoot. I see things in the moment and grab my camera. E. on the other hand have a clear vision, and her pictures are well planned ahead, and even had storyboards for some of them. It inspired me to maybe be a bit more structured in my photography. I might even try it, …sometime after the next ice age.
Another difference was, as E put it “You do minimalism – I create chaos”. (That’s half true, I like chaos too, but I’m so lazy that I mostly do minimalistic stuff because it involves less work).

While I did shoot a lot on my own, my main role in this project was as a model and as photographic & editing consultant. E. had found some really good locations for her ideas, and just visiting them would have been an Indiana Jones-sized adventure. Shooting in them was a blast!

The first location was an old abandoned train factory. And when I say factory I don’t mean one building, it was more of a small village with a lot of different buildings. All dilapidated and in beautiful decay. It wasn’t exactly a safe place to shoot. Besides all the broken glass, hidden holes in the ground, and ruined buildings about to fall over you any minute, there were also guards, guard-dogs, and shady characters to look out for. But we came well prepared – we brought cash to bribe the guards, sausages to bribe the dogs, and lots of adrenaline to run from gangs and axe murderers. Fortunately we didn’t need any of that. But we did get a shitload of great pictures from that amazing environment. Just look at this:


Next location was at a lake. While all the Photoshop magic in the world won’t get me into any swimsuit editions (I’ve reached the point in my life when the only ones interested in my body are the ones doing my post mortem), I felt very comfortable and intrigued about E’s ideas, and dropped my clothes and threw myself in the lake. While the Polish October was showing its best face, with sun and +22, the water was definitely autumnal. And by that I mean coooold. But I think the right word here is invigorating. A word which here means ‘cold as an Eskimo’s gin & tonic, but in an exciting way’.

I soon forgot to freeze my butt off, and we did get a lot of great pics from that lake, and from a nearby swamp with a water quality that would make a sewer rat faint but the atmosphere of a fairy tale. Behold:


I like Poznan very much. It’s a beautiful city with lots to see and do. The wonderful old houses and restaurants in Stare Miasto, the art and the architecture, the captivating and beautiful old-brewery-turned-shopping-mall-and-art-center Stary Browar, the parks, the bridges over river Warta… And it was all gift-wrapped in an Indian summer that made the loveliest October I’ve ever experienced. Not only did I swim outside for the first time in years, I got to celebrate my birthday outside. When I grew up in northern Sweden my birthday was usually the first day of winter, when the first snow fell. This year I could sit outside, have tapas and wine with the sun on my face at Club Havana, with a dessert of Japanese cherry cheesecake and a rum & coffee-drink so strong that the fumes alone made the birds circling above my table shitfaced.
Thank you Poznan, you were most kind!


I also went back to the town where I stayed a lot during 2015-16 – Czestochowa. But a black cat must have walked under a ladder made of broken mirrors when I got there. Didn’t even manage to unpack my bag before both my shoes and my laptop broke. Managed to fix both those problems, but then I broke. A malicious stomach flu decided to haunt me for more than a week. Nothing I tried to eat or drink stayed to look at the view, and for a long time my only sightseeing trips was to the bathroom. I was so weak the ghost of a fly fart could have wrestled me to the ground. But my creative motto is “work with what you’ve got”, so the few moments I wasn’t in the bathroom I took sick-portraits (which is, to be honest, confusingly similar to all my other portraits).


It was very inspiring and fun to play with another photographer, and I am kicking myself in butt as hard as I can now to get out of my dark lair and do more collaborations. If anyone feels like playing camera, I’m game! 🙂

All pictures © Peter X. Eriksson & Ewelina Dudaszek



Listening to: The Chain Gang of 1974 and Igorrr
Reading: Banana Yoshimoto: The Lake
Watching: The Exorcist
Experimenting with: Cinemagraphs