In this part of “Sinopale’s Relational Atlas” series, Anne Metzen is revisiting her work on the listening station in Sinop, which she presented in Sinopale 3.
For Sinopale 3 in 2010, I installed a so-called FieldArchive in a room at Sinop‘s former prison. It consisted of several Standard Euro normed boxes with prints, maps and collected information about a worldwide network of Western listening stations. The basis of that specific interest was the military base situated on Sinop‘s hilltop and its monitoring activities against the Soviets during the Cold War. The architecture of these stations and their geo-graphical inscriptions in the world was one aspect of my research. But I also did interviews with Sinopian inhabitants who had some experience involving the listening base and had memories and stories to talk about.
Revisiting this theme for Sinopale 8 meant adding new proofs to the archive taking into account further aspects of the intelligence network. In an era of the satellite pictures of Google Earth and the claims for total transparency, I was researching and thinking about secrecy and invisibility, the handling of information as an assemblage of entangled geographies and histories. I transferred visual icons and codes I found in this new research into proofs (paper works) of the archive, arranged them in the storage part of my studio and mixed them with a selection of other proofs, lists and schemes of my long term archival activities.These arrangements are documented in a sequence of pictures – almost in the form of a small storage room-tour – to which I invite you in the following.
This project is part of Anne Metzen’s archival system Standard Euro that the artist has been developing since 1997. For her archival work she collects observations of everyday events or phenomena mainly trying to capture any pattern of recurrences and normalization of their perception. She finds these phenomena through pseudo scientific research or long-term observations and translates them into forms of documents that she calls proofs. She then registers them in the archival system, which currently includes 120 boxes. The final presentation can be in the form of an installation, or a lecture, or a working space… She calls these InfoRaum InfoRoom and numbers them; the new one for Sinopale8 has the number 21. The artist’s studio is a home-based archive, is also an InfoRoom, split into the WorkingRoom and StorageRoom. Every declared component of the system/archive is numbered, codified, listed and formed on the basis of underlying parameters.
This project will look at Sinopale as a site of relational encounters through each edition of the biennial and explore what kind of previously non-existing or invisible links between Sinop and other places occurred through the artworks produced and exhibited in Sinop. By being situated in a specific place, a biennial raises the question of what it means for artists, artworks, and audiences to be at that specific place at that specific time, when it is no longer possible to think of places and times as disparate entities in a global world.