On the 16th of August 2008 in Sinop, I drifted towards the horizon on board on a cardboard scale model of the Göke, a prestigious ottoman warship built during the era of Sultan BeyazIt II. Conceived in the context of the rediscovery of romantic conceptualist artist Bas Jan Ader’s work, the performance reminded of Sinop’s turbulent past, when its location made it play a strategic role in the geopolitics of the Black Sea.
The Sinking of the Göke lasted about 6 minutes, accompanied by an enthusiastic local orchestra. I usually document the performance with a single picture made right after the launching of the boat, leaving it to the viewer to imagine how the cardboard structure slowly vanished into the sea. Sinopale 8’s invitation to upcycle this work is the occasion to show the video recordings of the performance for the first time.
However, in the short movie entitled The Return of the Göke, the images of the performance are played backwards. The warship awkwardly rising from the sea and welcomed on the shore creates a bitter echo of current events, as political instability and violence have sadly returned to the Black Sea region.
Based on extensive production realized during the 7 Sinopale by local and international artists, curators and academicians, as well as local NGO’s and the public, this version of Sinopale can focus on the main historical, geographical, political and cultural world phenomenon of Black Sea, which is in the hearth of Europe and Eurasia.
Apart from all political, economic, environmental disasters the world is facing now, the future of WATER will be more fundamental.