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The Sinop biennial, Sinopale, starts today in the Black Sea province, featuring an exhibition titled “Wisdom of Shadows” that focuses on the creation of art in an era of corrupted information

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The title of this year’s Sinopale exhibition is “Wisdom of Shadows” and it is designed as an homage to the ancient Greek cynic philosopher, Diogenes of Sinope, who defended the importance of simplicity in life.

The title of this year’s Sinopale exhibition is “Wisdom of Shadows” and it is designed as an homage to the ancient Greek cynic philosopher, Diogenes of Sinope, who defended the importance of simplicity in life.

The fourth Sinopale invites artists and curators to deal with the notion of spreading information not through light but through shadows and darkness as a response to existing global politics, in relation to development projects in the city of Sinop. The biennial opens Aug. 24.

Artists were mainly invited to produce interactive work that would invite the direct involvement of the city’s residents. Most of the selected artists will be using open-source digital technologies, not only for practical process reasons, but also to support the philosophical stance of the open-source platform for sharing information and knowledge, as opposed to the dominant knowledge production and distribution systems. The artists are not only invited to involve the public in their interactive work dealing with shadow and hidden connotations, but also to provide a variety of workshops to increase public awareness of decisions affecting their city.

The title of this year’s Sinopale exhibition is “Wisdom of Shadows” and it is designed as an homage to the ancient Greek cynic philosopher, Diogenes of Sinope, who defended the importance of simplicity in life and also sincerely practiced it in his daily life. This year’s Sinopale focuses on the creation of artwork in an era of corrupted information. According to the legend, Diogenes asked Alexander the Great to stop blocking his sunshine, and so the exhibition questions the possibility of creating awareness together with the residents of the city, making a gesture to the authorities who are disregarding sustainable life, which metaphorically and literally comes from the sun. The project can be perceived as an extension of the conceptual framework of the third Sinopale, titled “Hidden Memories, Lost Traces.”

Prior to the exhibition’s opening, the biennial hosted the Sinopale Academy, focusing on different topics in contemporary art. The academy started Aug. 1 and continued until the opening of the exhibition.

About the exhibition

The concept behind “Wisdom of Shadows” comes from curator Işın Önol.

“The correlation between light and knowledge, which provided the basic theme behind Enlightenment philosophy and which has long been one of the established anchors of Western ideology, is illustrated by the saying attributed to Diogenes: ‘Just do not cast your shadow upon me!’ However, if the story is reread as a whole it can be seen that Diogenes, who chose to pursue a simplified and ‘poor’ life is approached by Alexander the Great, who wished to reward his philosophical endeavors, and [Diogenes] responds with a cynical utterance: ‘Stand less between the sun and me!’ From this perspective it is also possible to read the sentence as ‘Do not hinder my connection with nature and the sun, offering me the luxury of everyday life which I do not desire or need.’ In another oft-told anecdote, Diogenes is reported to have lit a lamp in broad daylight Perhaps this was another critical and cynical act against the light and knowledge metaphor entertained by his contemporary Plato, who is known to have lived and produced his philosophical work in much better circumstances,” Önöl writes.

August/24/2012

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