Hampus Hedelius had been told by a good friend that there was an interesting abandoned house in Södertälje municipality, writes Kristina Möller in the exhibition folder. “That way I came in contact with Hampus Hedelius… To get “access” to the house, a mediating contact was needed and it happened to be me”. Fate – the forgotten Sweden is also the name of the photobook Hedelius published in 2008.
That something is destiny is certainly not true. There is always an owner; the state, the municipality, companies, or private individuals. Hedelius has been very careful with the ethics, find out and contact the owner to ask for permission to enter an abandoned house. He does not change anything, leaves everything in place, leaves no mark behind, closes and locks.
The folder also includes an interview with Hampus Hedelius made by Kjell Carlsson, which is briefly reproduced here. What is it that attracts you to document dilapidated houses? “It is twofold, for the first I want to see everything before this forgotten part of Sweden disappears. The second is to see what happens when man leaves and nature takes over. Something is happening there, beyond the world we live in today, where everyone and everything should be beautiful, narrow, clean and nice – in these environments there is a kind of rock ‘n’ roll truth that I like. ” How do you find the places? “It takes a lot of work and research, I can say. Fortunately, I know a lot of people around Sweden, who know my interest, and tell me about places. In addition, I travel around quite a lot myself and keep my eyes open.”
He goes on to say about the creative process: “Then I take my pictures in a special way – I do not use flash but instead use a very long shutter speed, so that the house appears in its own light, as far as possible”
“When the light is too bad, he illuminates parts of the house or room with the help of a flashlight. He paints with the light where needed – in the places where there is almost no light at all as the windows are often nailed together. This technology makes the images feel very natural.”
To protect the environments from vandalism and looting, Hampus keeps it a secret where the places he photographs are located.