Tania Shcheglova and Roman Noven are the Ukranian photographer duo (and couple) behind Synchrodogs. The project produces images that are otherworldly in subject and supernatural in execution. After winning the Pinchuk art prize in 2013, they couple set off for Iceland to chart the surreal world between wake and sleep, experimenting with lucid processes and sleeping patterns to recreate dreams on film.
On a tour round the Southern United States this past spring, they came back without a single picture of a southern cowboy, but a bold photography project instead. Amuse reached out the art and fashion photographers to find out more about the trip and their personal take on the unknown that has led to their new exhibition Supernatural at the Dallas Contemporary Museum opening on September 20th.
Where did you travel in the USA and how did you approach this project while being constantly on the go?
This latest trip can be described as ‘humans moving into the unknown’. Even by having an approximate route, the trip kept forcing us to use our intuition to make essential decisions. Everything we planned had a different result. The trip was nearly 4,000 miles that we travelled in just a month.
Did you have particular ideas of what you wanted to photograph prior the trip?
All our ideas were pre-planned and pre-arranged, we rarely shoot spontaneously these days.
What props did you use to help you construct your photographs? Where did they come from?
We never talk about how exactly our pictures came to life. This is our reality and our truth; you’ll just have to see our pictures and believe in it.
Was there a daily ritual you followed during that month?
We would find the worst motels on the side of the road and sleep in a sleeping bag.
Did you take any consciousness expanding substances in that month?
Cola with ice must be chemical enough to do what any drug could do, but we didn’t feel much effect.
Do you remember any dreams you had while being there? Did any of them make it into your photographs?
Shooting a project day-by-day for a month was really difficult (as the human body and mind have a energy limits which need refuelling).Tania had a mental breakdown one day, and wasn’t sure if she was still human; she fell asleep and was visited by her long-departed grandmother. Her hugs transcended time and space and Tania felt her warmth and love, waking up full of energy again and refilled with enthusiasm and strength. That was not the only dream of the month, but it was definitely the most important one.
From all the places and things you saw during the trip, what would you say was the most supernatural experience you had?
Oh! Consider us crazy, but we heard a UFO during the trip – it was a loud infrasound that we could clearly feel through our nervous systems and it was coming from right in front of us. There was nothing in front of us except air because we were standing on top of a high rocky mountain. Later, we found out that there are often strange phenomena observed in that part of Texas.
Do you consider your work to be ‘Land Art’?
It is to some extent; we create an installation on the landscape, make it last forever by shooting a photograph, but destroy it in real life right after the shot. Maybe some day we will find a way to exhibit our art in wider sense, but for now we plan to work with media like video and virtual reality.