1 S T S I N O P B I E N N I A L , S I N O P A L E
Sinop Pervane (School of Theology), Sinop, Turkey, 2006
Director: Melih Görgün
A large-scale necklace with apples hung on the façade of Sinop Pervane, the historic School of Theology, which stands across from the mosque, Alaaddin Camii, built in 1267. Christian iconography is apparent in the apple as a fruit of temptation, and a symbol for knowledge. Knowledge grows on desire like fruit on a tree or a vine. The fact that this necklace hangs on a religious institution throws a bright light on the issue of the employment of desire for religious purposes exclusively (as often expounded by conservative theologies), and the suppression of desire in the secular, public sphere.
The local Turkish birds will peck on the apples. Are the birds consuming the temptation, destroying it, or gaining knowledge through its ingestion? With reference to the layered cultural interpretations, the work reminds us of the universal tension between human harmony and its superior moral position over senseless destruction, as evidenced in the title’s thinly-veiled reference to the most fearsome device employed by insurgents in the ongoing war in Iraq.