The old prison of Sinop („Sinop Kale Cezaevi”) was one of the most famous in Turkey, with political prisoners, also many writers and artists. Since end of 20th century it's a museum and location for film sets. At the facade of one building in the huge complex, the house for young, non-adult prisoners ("Çocuk Islah Evi") a site-specific sound installation was developed, working with turkish songs.
A song is a kind of an emotional social memory: personal and individual and at the same time with a general public dimension. For the Sinopale project young people from Sinop were asked which song they would send a friend who is in prison. I wanted them to sing this song in a personal way, recorded it and transformed it afterwards for the installation "mirrorsongs" in the prison of Sinop. There, at one facade of the young prisoners building ("Çocuk Islah Evi"), mirrors are installed into the frames of the windows, each with a single loudspeaker. The voices of the different singers appear in this facade.
The clean and blank surfaces of the mirrors make a big contrast to the rough, old surface of the building, hiding what's going on inside and reflecting the outside. Standing in front of the facade a visitor sees what a prisoner’s eye could see through the iron bars: the blue sky, the sea, the town of Sinop - somehow an utopian image the prison facade is converted.
Through the little black wholes the songs coming out, but only in some pieces, like blown by the wind, and sometimes just as tiny, abstract sound pieces. The songs, chosen by the singers, are written by famous turkish poets like Sabahattin Ali, who himself was a prisoner in this jail.
Both, the mirrors and the speakers, are reflecting tools, one visually, the other acoustically, transforming the whole facade into a sounding sculpture, producing a melancholic atmosphere at this windy, deserted place, which is full of bad and cruel memories, but also of aspiration and hope.