Sinopale 6: Transposition

The International Biennial in Sinop was postponed last year due to the political situation in Turkey, but the festival will now be held this year instead.

On the Landway to New York, 2014–2017
Megafloat, Kolyma River, Siberia, June 2016
© leavinghomefunktion
Photo: leavinghomefunktion

Sinopale – the International Biennial for Contemporary Art in Sinop on Turkey’s Black Sea coast – will be held from 19 August to 17 September 2017. It was originally planned for summer 2016, but was postponed at short notice due to the political situation in the country. The international team of curators – consisting of T. Melih Görgün (Professor of History of Art, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Turkey), Prof. Dr. Nike Bätzner (curator and Professor of History of Art, Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle, Germany) and Jonatan Habib Engqvist (freelance curator, Sweden) – took a very deliberate decision to hold the event this summer. In the context of the ongoing delicate political situation in Turkey, it is particularly important that exchange between artists is encouraged and that processes within civil society are strengthened on the ground in Turkey.

Sinopale 6, for which Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle is a cooperation partner, will be held in 2017 under the banner of “Transposition”. This art biennial brings together both international and locally based artists and groups of artists and invites them to develop location-specific works in exchange with local citizens before the actual exhibition period. The focus of the Biennial is cooperation with local NGOs and initiatives from the area of civil society; the Biennial also emphasises participation processes. With regard to the decision to hold Sinopale in summer 2017, the co-curator and organiser Nike Bätzner says: “Since the decision was taken to postpone the 2016 Biennial at short notice due to the political situation, we have ensured that the processes of transposition and transformation have remained very active. Indeed, contacts between all of the participants and stakeholders have become even stronger against the background of the present situation.”

A total of 39 artists from twelve different countries will be represented – among them will be twelve graduates of Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle. For example, Murat Haschu (RUS/DEU) is creating an “Ottoman cabinet” for Sinopale, where he will show a film on the topic of fear. In parallel with this, he is heading a film workshop for young people. Esther Suarez Ruiz (COL/DEU) will exhibit a collection of ‘turqueries’ that she has put together. There has been a fashion for items of Turkish art and culture in Europe since the Baroque period; however, the forms adopted as part of this fashion refer back even further to Ottoman ornamentation. In keeping with its transcontinental projects and investigation of “processes of failure”, the leavinghomefunktion group will travel over land from Halle to Sinop to set up its mobile studio there.

Focal concepts of “Transposition” and “Wunderkammers”
The unifying focus of this year’s Biennial is the topic of transposition: this term has connotations of exchange, change, transfer, and also of encoding. Transposition allows for interplay between intermediate spaces, and opens up scope for thought and action and for a field of imagination. This scope for action also includes activities that identify traces of history and memories and transpose them into the context of the present day. Aspects of collecting, layering, narration and the ordering of things become significant here.

For this reason, the ‘Wunderkammer’ also serves as a guiding principle of Sinopale 6: this conceptual approach involves a holistic view of the world that is in contrast with the compartmentalised perception which is a feature of our times. Artists from the region around Halle and from international contexts have already worked on the concept of cabinets of art and natural objects as part of the “Assoziationsraum Wunderkammer (Wunderkammer associative space)” exhibition in summer 2015 in the Francke Foundations in Halle, which was held as part of Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle’s centenary celebrations. In keeping with the universal approach inherent to Wunderkammers and also with a manner of artistic production that is multi-medial and transnationally networked, the artists who participated in Halle in 2015 will develop new works and update existing projects in Sinop in collaboration with additional artists from various regions of the world and with local participants.

Artists participating in Sinopale 6
Anne Baumann (DEU), Sophie Baumgaertner (DEU), Alvaro Campo (SWE), Bernhard Cella (AUT), Aylin Çakıner (TUR), Philippe van Eetvelt (TUR/CAN), Cevdet Erek (TUR), Ayşe Erkmen (TUR/DEU), Mürteza Fidan (TUR), Wilhelm Frederking (DEU), Ulrike Grossarth (DEU), Frank Hagen (AUT), İpek Hamzaoğlu (TUR/AUT), Murat Haschu (RUS), Kristina Heinrichs (DEU), Susanne Hopmann (DEU), Nil İlkbaşaran-Güngör Erdem (TUR/NL), Christian Jankowski (DEU), Volkan Kızıltunç (TUR), Sebastian Körbs (DEU), Maria Lantz (SWE), leavinghomefunktion: Anne Knoedler, Johannes Foetsch, Elisabeth Oertel, Effy Zeniou, Kaupo Holmberg, Burçak Konukman (DEU/CYP/EST/TR), Ulrike Mohr (DEU), Nina Viktoria Naussed (DEU), Emre Okuçer (TR), Raluca Popa (ROU), Julian Rosefeldt (DEU), Bella Rune (SWE), Ginan Seidl & Yalda Afsah (DEU), Roland Stratmann (DEU), Esther Suarez Ruiz (COL), Youssef Tabti (FRA/DEU), Maria Sezer (TR/NL) along with regional initiatives.

Information programme, workshops and discussion forums
There will be a comprehensive accompanying programme at Sinopale 6 that will include workshops, discussion groups, performances, film showings, live music and celebrations. The artists will work with both local and international actors and with the citizens of Sinop.


Sinopale 6
Exhibition period:
19 August to 17 September 2017
Preparatory workshops: 1 to 17 August 2017
Opening: Saturday, 19 August 2017, 7 p.m.

Curators: T. Melih Görgün (TUR), Nike Bätzner (DEU), Jonatan Habib Engqvist (SWE)

Locations: Former ice factory at the harbour, Sinop Hal Buluşma Merkezi (former market hall), Dr. Rıza Nur library, Chamber of Architects, Archaeological Museum, Ethnographic Museum, former glass factory, public spaces in Sinop and Gerze.
Opening hours:
Monday to Sunday, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Admission is free.
Further information:

Supported by: City of Sinop, German Federal Cultural Foundation, Art Foundation of Saxony-Anhalt, Goethe Institute Istanbul, Francke Foundations Halle, Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle, SAHA Association, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Austrian Cultural Forum Istanbul, Austrian Federal Chancellery, General Consulate of Romania in Istanbul, General Consulate of Sweden in Istanbul
Additional support from:
Siemens//Sanat Istanbul, Women’s Council Sinop, Tourist Association Sinop, Sinop Sürdürülebilir Kalkınma Derneği, businesspeople, craftspeople, hotel-owners, NGOs from Sinop and Gerze


Your contact person:
Prof. Dr. Nike Bätzner   
M +49-(0)179-1419641
nike.baetzner(at)  online.  de