The starting point for my project has been Sinopia. The pigment called “sinopia” came from Anatolia and Cappadocia and was exported to Europe through the port of Sinop. It was used during classical antiquity, through the Middle Ages and Renaissance, for painting or the preparatory drawing for a fresco. The term “sinopia” refers to both the pigment and the preparatory drawing. Before arriving in Sinop, I have been also reading about various conditions which affect the eye, about “diplopia”, or double vision — the simultaneous perception of two images of a single object, and about “miopia”, or nearsightedness — the unbalanced perception of close and distant objects.
In Sinop I have been preoccupied with provoking a discussion largely based on the association of these three terms, and thinking about transportation of goods and artistic intentions, about care and scrutiny, and about understanding too much or not enough. Synopia rhymes with Diplopia rhymes with Myopia is therefore the invisible thread connecting my one-to-one conversations, with the professional swimmer, in “Learning how to swim in the Black Sea” and with the ophthalmologist who wrote the medical prescription for the pair of glasses with which I returned from Sinop.
“One of the works created by Raluca Popa in this context became a personal, almost private investigation unfolding around women as subjects, which through its intimacy also called into question what a so-called socially engaged artwork could be. Her choice to interact with a single individual, here the swimming teacher, trying to redefine herself, and in a sense acknowledging the limits of human interaction, might well be understood as an attempt to suggest possible trajectories and proposals that do not have to happen immediately, right then and there. As such, the work also asks what it means to work with communities and places where you have never been before, how one approaches that situation in a genuine way and what can an artist sincerely hope to achieve”. (Jonatan Habib Engqvist)
With the contribution of Cansu Kırcan, synchronized swimming trainer, İstanbul Atlantik Spor Kulübü and Op. Dr. Konuralp Yakar, Sinop Atatürk Devlet Hastanesi Thanks to Çağla Sönmez Çakır, Gizem Grünberg
Swimming lessons, eye test, prescription glasses, sinopia drawing, clay