Many technologies have the power of opening doors to new perceptions of reality. I have read that nature is focal for you both. What good do you think digital tech such as Augmented reality and Virtual reality will do for us in our relationship with nature when it seeks to replace it with a replica?
We don’t think nature is something that can be replaced by any other reality, taking into account all 5 human senses and the powerful energy brought via everything starting from fresh air and finishing with walking barefoot which influences physiologic processes (inducing relaxation). Augmented reality shows us that there is another reality, but not necessarily a better one, it is just different. Maybe spreading VR widely, on one hand, we will have bigger and more advanced possibilities, but on the other hand at the same time, we’ll start to appreciate real nature more. (Neuralink sounds still scary though)
When creating an image, do you first form a concept or sketch and then seek to fulfill it, or do you go to a location with a model, feel its energy and create from intuition? How do you achieve such dreamlike images so often?
We are working on ideas non-stop, which means we write down all the ideas that come to mind via our nighttime meditation technique, or via observing everyday life around us. And then when we feel the time comes to form it into a project we start working on preparation, creating installations, making props, and mixing materials with the natural environment, which is also a highly inspirational thing itself. Recently our book was published by Louis Vuitton and it contains 3 years of work, it is a good example of how we work on a project as a whole, rather than just shooting separate photographs spontaneously (which can be distinctly seen in our previous book Byzantine).
When you both speak it is with a depth of contemplation and self-knowing, this same authenticity is exuded through your photographs. Where does your inner sense of confidence and creative courage arise? Does having a partner in crime aid in the pitfalls of being original?
The unity of two creative minds supporting each other does give courage. But also the understanding that there is no need in creating any boundaries for making artworks helps: even if the idea sounds hard to be fulfilled, we bet there is a way to make it work.
In hyper-sexualized media, the place of the nude seems to exist in three contexts: the public/private, the commercial, and the museum. Like your work, theater and contemporary dance seem to blur these lines. You have said that the nude is natural to which I agree, but if it’s natural why do you think it holds so many conflicting meanings?
Because every person can give different connotations to the same topic. It is all the matter of associations every artist decides to arouse. In our case it is totally clean.
Our world today is filled with upheaval though artists are trying their best to fix it through their messages. Because your life philosophy and artistic approach contains a potent brand of pure expression (both visually and through its message), what advice can you give creatives to help them develop a clearer signal?
The clearest signal is the one you say out loud. People are not so good at guessing what others are trying to say (via art works for example) so the only way to be heard is to actually talk about your point of view or the things you stand for.
I know the field is vast, but in general, what are your views on Western fashion photography today? Do you think it has room to grow? If so, which directions should it begin to go? Can big industry and truth telling really coexist without one becoming less important over time in the process?
It is really hard to predict right now how our World will look like in even as little as 5 years. Did we know what is NFT 2 years ago? No. And now the biggest auction houses are adapting to the crypto world at a fast pace. Will there be something completely new we can’t imagine from today? For sure. Now the World is exactly on the crossroads deciding which direction will be expanding and which will come to ought and fade away.
Having such a love for rural life I wonder what your views on digital art may be. Have you two yet had the chance to collaborate with CG/3D artists? If you could make your own digital world what would it be like?
That is one of the directions we are working on right now with a wider team (Deep3studio and such 3d artists as Volodymyr Bosyi from Ukraine; Simon Kounovksy, Alexander Dueckminor from Germany; Stefan Batros from Romania), and plan to upload and selling new works as exclusive NFTs with one of the galleries, we will announce it all soon on our social media channels. For a long time, we had plenty of ideas that were not quite possible to be fulfilled via photography, now with technology developing so fast we, at last, can use more instruments and create those surreal scenes written down in our ‘book of ideas’ for ages.
Please tell us about your charitable project CrystalTania. Where did the idea originate and how can we participate?
In 2014 we started a charitable project called Crystaltania where we sell unique jewelry made by Tania out of new and vintage beads we collect while traveling all over the world. All jewelry pieces are usually edition of 1 only and are sold for a symbolic price of 77 euro, all money from sales go to charitable purposes, some to help children in shelters, others to help people who are in urgent need of medical aid or were placed in difficult life situations. Some years ago we even bought out 6 foxed from poachers who were going to kill them for fur (now they are living with the animal rescue team getting all proper care and love), were also buying out birds in Thailand (as people catch them to use for bird singing competitions) and set them free – indeed one of the most wonderful moments in life. 3 days after it Tania had a night dream with a bird flying into the house, the bird sat on her shoulder and even let Tania pat her wings with her cheek, then flew away.