Ukrainian duo, Tania Schlegova and Roman Noven aka Synchrodogs first came to our attention last year when they shot Femen for Dazed in a piece introducing the rising Ukrainian protest group. Now, the pair are up for the Pinchuk Art Prize back in their hometown of Kiev this month and to celebrate, they created Reverie Sleep for a special nominees showcase at the Pinchuk Art Centre. Charting that swampy space between wake and sleep - familiar yet remote, Tania and Roman have been recording their trippy visions and then recreating them.
Here, Dazed speaks to the duo about the sureal landscapes they travelled to in order to recreate their dreams.
Dazed Digital: What was the inspiration behind this project?
Tania Shcheglova: The project is based on our dreams, those we have seen while still in the process of falling asleep. As we are nominated for the Pinchuk Art Prize this year, we've created a new project to be presented in Pinchuk Art Centre this autumn.
DD: It's not often we're able to recreate or relive our dreams?
Tania Schleglova: It's actually pretty easy to wake yourself up at the beginning, when you are in that state between wakefulness and sleep. During this stage of Non Rapid Eye Movement sleep some people may experience hypnagogic hallucinations which are caused by the natural process of falling asleep. When we had visions like that we usually woke ourselves up and made an iphone note with what we'd just seen. For this Reverie Sleep project we gathered our dreams from the last two years and staged them precisely.
DD: Did you monitor your dreams and visions - how did you decide which ones would be created?
Roman Noven: We decided to stage those ones that were possible to be recreated. We still have a secret book noting the ones that were extremely wonderful but too impossible to become a part of this project. Several weeks ago Tania was able to control her dream for the second time in her life. She started flying and everytime she thought of going higher she managed to do so, eventually she flew into the future with extremely futuristic and high space buildings, and made herself wake up to write it down and remember it right along.
DD: What was the most challenging part of turning a vision, created by a natural state of falling asleep, into an artistic project?
Tania Schleglova: The main problem was to find those surreal landscapes that would remind you of a dream's settings. Though we are showing just a small part of this project now, there are many more pictures in it, and all of them are shot in particularly dangerous locations. We went to glaciers where you can fall into an ice hole and be found weeks later, or in the hot lakes where you can get boiled if there is geyser which decides to eject hot water while you are in it. And all this accompanied by heavy rains and wind blowing with speeds of 70 miles per second.
DD: When we last spoke to you, you said your favourite photograph was from your previous project "Hidden". Has your favourite photograph changed since Reverie Sleep?
Roman Noven: Sure, it happens all the time. You can't stay at the same point all the time and keep liking your own work. We hope we're progressing in general and we prefer these new projects over old ones at the moment.
DD: What's next for Synchrodrogs?
Tania Schleglova: We've been busy with another personal project for three months, then had some commercial stuff to do one after another. Maybe its time for us to find a new kitten, wash him with cat soap and sleep for a while.
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