Photography and nature with Synchrodogs – interview
That of Synchrodogs is a photographic project in continuous evolution. Their surreal creativity, almost oneiric, pushes the limits of photography towards new horizons still unexplored. Characterised by raw nudities and breathtaking landscapes, their shots bring out hidden emotions, delicate but sharp, in which nature and artifice merge to become one, in a symbiosis that lasts just the time of a click. This winning duo was born from the meeting of two amateur photographers from Ukraine who practiced photography only as a hobby.
From their meeting, their photography has evolved to become art, obtaining awards and recognitions worthy of note as the Vogue Italy Best Fine Art (won in 2016) and the Feature Shoot Emergency Photography Award in 2019.
In this web interview, the two photographers narrate their story, starting from their latest project “Slightly Altered” in which they explored the visceral relationship between man and nature and the way in which the human being transforms and is transformed by nature. Then, they tell us a little bit more about their creative process, inextricably linked to the world of dreams, to arrive at the fashion world studded with collaborations with international brands and magazines.
1) The work of Synchrogods is an art to be admired, a dream to experience with the eyes wide open. Your last work “Slightly Altered” proposes an intimate reflection on human activities that inevitably give the Earth new features, at times worrying, and not without several consequences. Sometimes those new shapes and landscape we see on Earth, portray our changed inner self too. What was the spark that boosted this wonderful concept in the first place?
We spend quite a lot of time in nature, every summer we go to Carpathian mountains to live there for 1-2 month, and to be honest we can see a big difference between those Carpathians we used to know 10 years ago and those we see now. Watching this instant flux where villages become cities and hills with forests become skiing trails pushed us to create a project about how far people managed to intrude into territories that were meant to be wild. So our work is a lot about interdependency of human and nature and how they change each other.
2) Nudity and nature are two constants in your work, they look almost symbiotic but at the same time opposites. Your photography has some sort of power in bringing emotions out of its human shell. Can you describe this force behind your creative process and how does it come together for every project?
With our works we always try to convey the message that situation is far from hopeless, and at the same time inspire optimistic view via some education it is providing. We mean not the kind of education we get in school or university, rather some influence on a very subtle level where all people learn to love nature to the extent of not willing to do any harm to it. Apart from giving awareness to some really important environmental issues we would like to stimulate them to spent more time in nature and lead a less urbanized kind of life. This symbiosis we achieve putting a naked body into wild nature is the purest form of coexistence for us.
At the same time we love creating artificial installations in wild nature that are meant to live for one day only before we make a shot of them and destroy, simply because they do not belong there, which is the basic message of the project we are working on for several recent years. These installations interrupt landscape for a while, but eventually it comes back to its pure shape.
3) The portraits of Ukraine are of a striking beauty, showing us a country we don’t know, its fragility, its power, that remains hidden even to its people, and its astounding beauty. There was a moment in which emotions prevailed during the shoots, being this your native country? Do you feel you have accomplished the mission of capturing its true essence or is there something more you’d like to show us one day?
Of course Ukraine is much more than one project can show, it was just our narrow vision of some kind of eccentricity and fragility at the same time that we captured back in the days, in fact any other person may have absolutely other vision and lay emphasis on other spheres or specific traits. But we rather tried to catch the vibe of that time as we realized that being situated between Modern and Post Soviet Union world can not and will not last forever. By the way we just had exhibition opening in Jest gallery in Turin, Italy showing this project, it will be up for several month.
4) Your projects are all born from an in-depth research and love for nature and the anatomy of the human body and mind. Is there a project that was particularly difficult to develop and build in terms of logistics? Have you ever felt there was a limit you couldn’t trespass?
Our work is often inspired by our night dreams. In the course of the years we developed our own meditation technique which we use while trying to fall asleep, it helps us to get a lot of interesting ideas, the main trick is to make yourself wake up and make a note of what you have just seen, as in the morning you will never remember about it. Later we recreate those ideas with photography. Sometimes we see fabulous ideas in night dreams, but they are too surreal to be recreated with photography, so the main difficulty for us was never in logistics (even though they are always complicated) but in general possibility to recreate something.
5) When did you two meet? When your idea of fusing two creative minds started? What was your path towards photography like?
We were photographers before we met, which happened on a photography website where we both had accounts, as we are naturally from two different cities 8 hours away from each other. We intuitively liked each others works, this to some extent pulled us together at once. But we became photographers in the real sense of the word only when we met, it naturally started being something important for us, before we perceived photography only like a small hobby and never thought we are capable of making some meaningful art.
6) Do you feel fashion photography is a stimulating ground in which to explore and create? Have you ever felt the human body could lose some of its integrity and authenticity when it comes to fashion?
We never felt fashion imposing some serious boundaries, of course it has some terms you have to follow, but they are more like rules of the game for us rather then restrictions, therefore the human body is not losing its authenticity, it is just trying on different scenarios, experimenting with its overall look and mood.
7) Looking at some works you did for fashion magazines and brands, is there a photographic shoot you particularly enjoyed doing?
Recently we had a cool shooting for Purple Fashion Magazine with issue topic Cosmos – it was surreal and lots of fun with our fabulous team, after we had to make a Panthenol party in the evening as we all got intense sunburn of our faces and were all urged to wear an antiburn foam.
8) Do you have any upcoming projects to show in the future?
We always work on something, this year was highly productive for us in creating new personal works which we now plan showing on exhibitions. All will be announced soon on our social media.
9) Is there some fashion brand you would like to work with one day?
It’s hard to say, we like really a lot and all different, like Loewe, Jil Sander, Celine, Marni, Kenzo, Prada, Gucci, JW Anderson, Balenciaga, Valentino, Hermès.
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