By: Amanda Sandström Beijer
We meet at a Biergarten close to Mauerpark. Krousky is a person that you’ll notice as much in real life as on social media. In his forehead he has a tattoo that says “Nothing to prove”, and as we speak the meaning of those words gets increasingly clearer.
We get to find out more about the pleasure he gets from hanging from hooks entrenched in his skin, as well as his second persona ‘The Clown’. Yes, it’s much to take in when meeting with a person who’s mind never gets quiet.
”We all have a past, and my work reflects that. Depression, violence and abuse are things that I lift from a perspective that can’t be ’made up’. My personality and my mindset is rooted in my past, including many things that I didn’t chose myself.”
He describes the mindset he’s referring to, as ’fucked up’, but the person he describes is one who always felt different and outside.
”People like me don’t come from a peaceful life. I never felt that I had the same outlook on life as the other kids had.”
He grew up with his grandparents in Dijon, France, a country he never wants to return to, as it’s a place where he never felt accepted.
”I have always been super curious. I also had different interests and was an outsider as a kid. I had an inner stress, as we in the family never knew if we had money for food by the end of the month. Therefor when I grew up and took care of myself, I just wanted to be happy and free, and found new ways of dealing with reality.”
When Krousky became a teenager, he started doing music and found punks to hang out with.
”They were the only ones who respected me in spite of my being different. They just told me to respect their boundaries in return. Through them I learnt about politics, feminism and Anarcho punk. I got autonomy from my grandparents when I was 15-16, and was from then and on by myself, sometime living on the street and sometimes squatting.”
Later on, he started shooting for various punk bands (i.e. Nasty, NOFX, Suicidal Tendencies, U.K. subs among others) and followed them on tour. It was also through taking band portraits, he arrived to Berlin for the first time 18 years ago. He only stayed for a day, but left with a feeling of Berlin being disappointment.
”This was18 years ago, I came to Kreuzberg and if you didn’t know anyone there, it was a place to stay away from. Paradoxically today it’s super clean, a place full off Bio markets, families and strollers.”
Today Krousky found his community in the city and have lived here for six years.
”When I moved here, I just planned to stay for one month. I came here hitchhiking, without expectations, money or any contacts whatsoever.”
Today Krousky is well-known as an artist and also as a photographerat clubs like KitKat Club and Bad Bruises at Wilden Renate. He still remembers the first time he went to KitKat with his, back then, girlfriend on New Year’s Eve.
”When we arrived at the entrance the security looked at us and said ’you know tonight is a fetish party right, you have to wear a special outfit - be creative, latex, leather, freak.’ and I asked ’him; ’Do you not think we’re enough freaks?’ He replied ’yes a bit too much.’ and we waited for two long minutes until he let us in, then the magic started. It was a place where I felt that I belonged from the very beginning. I do what I want, I feel what I want, I look how I want - without any pressure or judgement.”
”It was different back then, not that any of it is better or worse, but it was way dirtier, trashier and more intense.”
”You go to Berghain for the music and to get lost. To KitKat you don’t go for the music but to socialize. I never wore any costume or fetish clothes, because back then I wasn’t self-confident with my body. I just had my regular clothes and drank my lemonade.”
Sometime later Krousky created his own club within the KitKat umbrella, naming it Apokalipstick.
”It came from an idea I had for years. I told Kirsten, one of the founders of the club, that I had a project I wanted to do for them, and without hearing about it, she gave me six dates that year when I couldtry it out. I also proposed my ideas to Billie from Bad Bruises, and tamed up with them before I went on my own.”
”Many times, in the past when I had a creative idea, it got trashed already from the start when people told me that ’it wouldn’t work and was doomed to fail.’ But today I’ve proved them wrong.”
If you’ve ever been to Apokalipstick you know that there is a lot going on in every corner. Everything from dark rooms, to drag-, BDSM- and freak shows. By ’freak shows’ we mean “face skewer” which is when you pierce the face with a stick. Or” suspension”, also known as body modification, which refers to when you’re hanging from hooks inserted in the flesh. There are also punk cabaret, street shows and porn art performances, bloody shows, neo fakirs, trash performances, live music artists and DJs, with a big opening show where most artists from the evening will be involved to set the mood and energy for the night.
”It’s nothing innovative that I’ve created, it’s more that I put things together in a different way. I create the party that I myself want to attend. I wanted to get rid of all boundaries. It’s intense, but yet happy, and a place where there’s no room for judgement.”
The ’freak shows’ is something that Krousky not only does live, but also a technique he’s using when creating his art or in private.
”When it comes to my art - what I’ve created here during the past four years, is something that would’ve taken me 20 years back in France.”
Krousky has now lived in Berlin for 6 years, and even if his looks haven’t changed, he feels that he found himself as well as his home when he got here.
”If anything, Berlin made me calmer.”
”France sucks. I did my first tattoo as a 12-year-old, but no one at my age even had piercing bad then.”
He shows the tattoo he did on his arm back then, and explains that it’s there to provide protection. It was also at that tattoo studio he got in contact with suspension - through the English magazine they kept there.
”When it comes to suspension, it’s completely different when you do it privately or as a show. When I do a show, it’s completely visual. Privately it’s about the feeling. First of all, I hate pain, I can’t handle it for different reasons. Therefor suspension is a big challenge for me, but at the same time it’s a big relief going through it. You need to find a place inside of yourself where you don’t focus on that.”
”It’s about questioning my own limits and about re-appropriating my own body. It’s also a way to heal PTSD, and a way to rewrite some memories from the past, but another important part of it is in relation tothe community, sharing it together with others.”
Today Krousky has developed his alter ego ’The clown’.
”I developed the clown alter ego at the sam time that I first created Apokalipstick together with my ’suspension crew’. It was the first time that I felt I found myself, and at the same time, when in the role as ’the clown’ I could push my own limits and get over my shy side.”
In Krousky’s daily life he can be shy and is living a calm and discrete life, according to himself.
”’The clown’ is my extravert part. With him I’m dirty, nasty and he brings forth a darker side of me without the same boundaries. He doesn’t care if anyone looks at him, or what they think of him.”
”When I want to strengthen myself, and let myself go - ’The clown’ is there to take over. And at the same time, I can protect my private life, witch is something that is really important to me. There are many people who think they know me.”
”They have an idea of who I am through my work, Social media, parties and shows, but there aren’t many who know who I actually am. And I am not even sure they want to find out either, to be honest. Therefor ’the clown’ is a good protection, as well as a good reflection of how I feel on the inside.”