All One Knows | Renata Poljak


All One Knows
2 channel video installation, Commissioned by TBA21, Vienna for KUBA project, 2006

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All One Knows is based upon Renata Poljak’s personal experience of her trip from Belgrade to Vukovar and what she faced according there of the relationship between the embattled Croatian and Serbian nations. Her work shows how she got manipulated and surprised by her own ‘non correct’ emotions.

Using an intimate and highly-poetic filmic language accompanied by her own story telling Poljak explores what she perceived to be people’s alarming suppression of history and their notions of the war. What manifests itself in a misreading of facts and problems in any way beyond the cosmetic, reminded her of similar situations among couples.

In All One Knows, Renata Poljak takes the risk of walking on an emotional tightrope, traveling from Belgrade to Vukovar with a companion, whereby she discovers herself as “Croatian”, an identity that she had never explicitly adopted. She perceives her environment, both surprised and overwhelmed by her own “incorrect”, because suddenly nationalist, feelings.

Due to their inability to adequately address their emotions the two travelers comment on their immediate impressions gathered in the course of this journey. They look for explanations for what has happened, the war between Serbia and Croatia, and for relevant traces. But explanations are nowhere to be found, not in Belgrade, nor in Vukovar. What they find instead is people’s alarming suppression of history and memory.

This episode is juxtaposed to the projection of an arguing couple, whereby the same patterns and unresolved conflicts, ultimately trivial matters, repeatedly lead to ferocious disputes.
Renata Poljak merges the borders between the personal and the fictional, and so creates a position that allows her to develop and tackle suppressed issues and the trauma of being unable to talk.

The sound installation is based on a recording of the steps walking along a parquet floor in a shape of number 8 or spiral. Later the sound of steps along the parquet is additionally treated and a kind of melody emerges – a sound that creates emotional landscape that is reminiscent of the films of Andrei Tarkovsky. The sound itself rises from speakers set low, always at ground level, suppressed under the images of which each has its own dialogue.

All One Knows, a text by Natasa Ilic from catalogue (pdf): croatian  english

2 channel video installation composed of :

— 2 video projections placed face en face
— Disc 1 : 10 min, (transferred from 16mm film);
— Disc 2 : 9 min 15 sec (transferred from DV-cam);
— sound, color, loop.
— 1 CD by Ramuntcho Matta : 25 min, loop.
— 2 sound speakers placed in between two video projections.
— 2 projections are also united with the sound installation that runs parallel.
— 2 channel video installation comprised of two video projections opposite one another. While completely different they are linked by a common theme that each develops in its own way : suppression.