All One Knows, 2006

Still: Courtesy the artist

2-channel film and sound installation
Part 1: 10 min, part 2: 9 min
Commissioned by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary 

In All One Knows, Renata Poljak takes the risk of walking on an emotional tightrope, traveling from Belgrade to Vokovar with a companion, whereby she discovers herself as "Croatian", an identity which 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 which allows her to develop and tackle suppressed issues and the trauma of being unable to talk.

*1974 in Split, Croatia
Artist's website