Tête à Tête with Synchrodogs

Time for an interview with the Ukrainian photographers Synchrodogs who made for us a "Spread Of The Week" story around our ribbons pieces. Tania and Roman, explain the meaning of their name as well as little stories about the influence of Ukraine in what they do. Enjoy.

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KENZINE: Where does your name Synchrodogs come from?
SYNCHRODOGS: We feel some animalistic spirit in us and rather canine, in our behavior in particular. That’s where the word “dogs” come from. At the same time we both are very alike in what we think is beautiful and what's ugly, our tastes and perceptions are “synchronized” to some extent. Those two elements put together are “Synchrodogs” and characterized us quite well.

K: Could you tell us about your background?
S: We both are Ukrainians, self-taught in photography and art. Graduating from technical universities, Tania was supposed to work in some library or archive, Roman should have done some robot automation. Luckily we were both introduced to photography by friends and it also strongly encouraged us to start!


K: How did you two meet and started working together?
S: As we are naturally from two different cities, 8 hours by train from each other, we are grateful that Internet made our meeting possible. In 2008 we both had accounts on some super old school photography website and started exchanging with each other. We were making photographs separately for a year before we met, so we were more or less at the same stage of 'ambitious beginners'.


K: Synchrodogs is a duo, who does what?
S: Both of us do everything. Firstly we develop ideas, then we try to make better ideas out of them. After that we create props and find locations where we can shoot. In between those we also talk about technics, like framing and composition. In our duo nobody is a model and we are both are photographers, though we often use ourselves to make a shot. For us it is often easier to play with our own body, rather than explaining our expectations to a model, so that the shots look as planned. But we mostly use this approach working on personal projects.


K: Do you also have solo projects? Or do you work with other people?
S: No, there is no art of Tania Shcheglova or Roman Noven, we do everything under the alias of Synchrodogs.


K: Is Ukraine a source of inspiration? Kenzo Takada was very influenced by slav cultures in the 80s. Is there a folkloric dimension in your work?
S: For us Ukraine is still a very tribal country, with all its primeval lifestyles mixed up with a slight post-soviet union feeling. People want to look fashionable but since they have no money and don’t read international fashion magazine they have to be inventive to take the most glamorous advantage of their small budget. This creates an absolutely unique background for us to live in, where every girl next door girl is wearing golden high heels just going to buy some bread in a shop. A clear example of this authentic fashion can be seen in our Misha Koptev project.


K: How would you explain the concept behind your Spread of the Week editorial?
S: The main concept for this shooting was to use sewing materials like bows, patches and fabrics, ribbons and brooches, to create those styles that would go in line with the KENZO Fall/Winter 2013 collection.


K: You put your models in abstract situations and poses. How would you define your relationship with the human body in general?
S: In our personal art projects the role of human is diminished, the person is something abstract, something that exists only in the context of nature, something that interact in the context of universe. In commercial shootings we prefer the model to remain less glamorous, more emotive, sometimes even awkward.


K: Where does your obsession for shooting nudes by frozen lakes or forests in winter come from?
S: We don’t have some exact obsession with forests, but it’s true that many of our personal projects are nature related, like the 'Animalism, Naturalism' series. We have to admit that we do love spending time outside the cities, with no people and no buildings around.


K: What would be your top 5 places in Ukraine to visit?
S: 1) Carpathian mountains with its snowy peaks.
2) Crimean Peninsula with its wild nature, sea and heaven garden in Yalta.
3) Lviv with its historical buildings and tiny streets.
4) Kiev with its capital status.
5) Luhansk with its deepest ukrainian ghetto.