There is no such adjective as sedimental. It sounds like a plausible English word, as it does when translated into Italian, yet it is just as inexistent: sedimentale. Sedimentary and sedimentario do exist as adjectives: they refer to the geological process whereby the mineral parts of Earth crumble and are transported elsewhere, where sediment is reconstituted in other layers.
The image of this process of transformation can be attributed to human emotion. Crumbling, letting yourself be transported elsewhere and be reconstituted in different stratifications. This is the sense of the crasis created by Bimba y Lola for its summer collection: sedimental, something between sedimentary and sentimental. The rough grain and crepe fabrics are a nemesis of the desert, whilst raw minerals and stone become the embellishment of the clothes. Earrings made of resin and shells, hand-painted necklaces and rings with huge stones.
The Ukrainian artistic duo Synchrodogs – Tania Shcheglova and Roman Noven – interpreted the concept of sedimental for Bimba y Lola. Now having just passed the thirty-year-old mark, the Synchrodogs originally met at a photography forum in 2008. Even their name is the result of a crasis – synchronized dogs. “We realized that we share the same perceptions. Often one of us started a sentence and the other finished it. Synchronized dogs: because man’s best friend will always be a dog.” They lived eight hours away from one another, by train: two teenagers who loved nature and crossing it on a motorcycle where there were no roads.
What guided them was coherence, adhering without compromise to the direction they felt was theirs: they didn’t try to comply with what the public liked, they attracted it. Their photographs have been published in Harper’s Bazaar, Dazed & Confused and Wall Street Journal; They were asked by Kenzo, among others, to create an advertorial and by Lady Gaga to come up with the lookbook of the merchandise for the Joanne World Tour.
Meditation and lucid dreams play an important role in their process of inspiration. The Reverie Sleep series is dedicated entirely to their oneiric fantasy world. Tania’s naked body, often covered in paint or glitter, in contrast with nature, impressed on the retinas of anyone observing. “We note down the ideas that come to us in our dreams, whether it is a lucid dream or not. We have been working with Bimba y Lola for five years, our style changed hand in hand with the Maison, from one campaign to the next. We share graphic experimentation. The latest collection was inspired by the stratification of the Earth, by the way in which our world has developed as time has gone by, and is a concept that concerns us.” Working on Sedimental, the Synchrodogs opted for a glitch effect – a phenomenon in electrical engineering when a sudden, sharp peak occurs on a wavelength, caused by an unforeseeable error. The same term in the computer world refers to a file reading error, modifying and distorting it. In video games, glitches often cause off-putting anomalies, that your mind just can’t help dwelling on. “On a visual level, it makes you think of the layers of the Earth, but at the same time it is representative of future time. In the collection, natural, earthy colours are combined with shiny tones resembling metal. The glitch gives observers the new appearance that is taking over our planet.”
There is something in these photos that makes you think of architecture – more specifically Brutalist architecture. The blocks of cement hewn out with a hammer, pipework intentionally left on show, the way you can see the building’s bones from the outside, the criteria used to build them: there is a subliminal reference to the earth’s stratification, with the glitch effect as its carrier. Brutalism is a term invented in the United Kingdom in the Fifties. It comes from something Le Corbusier once said: Architecture is about forming mobile relationships with brutish materials. Le Corbusier himself who would later say: “The purpose of architecture is to move us. Emotion in architecture occurs when the work resounds within us, in harmony with a universe whose laws command obedience, faith and respect.”
Considered grey architecture for decades due to its bold use of reinforced concrete and its block-like aesthetic – rough surfaces, endless rows of windows, repeated geometrical modules – today, Brutalism is back in fashion. Kanye West chose it for the headquarters of his fashion brand Yeezy; it is mentioned in videos and arty short films. “The rebirth of Brutalism was as fast as its decline a few decades earlier,” critic Edwin Heathcote said. “An example of how utopia can be turned into dystopia, before emerging once again when it is needed.” Giving everyone the chance to live in the big city, tending to bridge the gap between rich and poor: the Brutalist utopia was social housing. Sediments reconstituted in other layers. The video by the Arctic Monkeys The view from the afternoon, was filmed at Park Hill, a Brutalist high rise built in the late Fifties. The neon illuminated graffiti: I love you will u marry me, on the bridge of the flats has become a must-see tourist attraction and Park Hill has become one of the places to live in England.
Renovation instead of demolition. Saving the raw soul of an architectural project is still a question of sediment. The transformation of any environment on Earth under the processes of mineral erosion and recomposition of nature – according to the Synchrodogs: “Houses are not primary. The fulcrum of our work remains this idea of stratification, it doesn’t matter if it affects architecture or landscape, it is the natural process against the construction and deconstruction of man that interests us. Sedimentary and emotional – Sedimental.” The term glitch is said to come from the German glitschen (to slip) and from the Yiddish gletshn (to slide). The ancient slides into the modern and the modern slips into the ancient, in a never-ending, mesmerizing system error. The Synchrodogs continue to send postcards to the world from the heart of the error.