Elianna Renner (CH/G) – Yankl N Yankl Elianna Renner‘s mother, who is currently living in Zürich, was a little girl when her two grandfathers Yankl Wasserman and Yankl Solomon went to the weekly market in Jassy and never came back. That‘s the story she knows.
The artist’s aunty, her mother’s cousin currently living in Buenos Aires, tells her that her father had recounted how Elianna‘s mother actually was with Yankel and Yankel at the market. And only she came back. The video is an oral history skype experiment that talks about gaps in memory.
The story oscillates between history and myths and the need to fill the missing gap in the family of the lost of Yankel and Yankel.
Swiss conceptual artist Elianna Renner works at the intersections of biography, fiction and history. Her multi media approach circles around performance and audio-visual installation, which are sometimes combined with film and photography. The core theme of her work revolves around memory, the archive and the recovery of histories.
In her recent projects, she questions historical narratives and their inherent areas of omission – always striving to uncover the power structures behind these “untold” or “incommunicable” histories. Following Michel-Rolph Trouillot’s concept of “unthinkable history”, Renner believes that we all need stories to fill in the gaps books will never teach us. Taking a subjective stance on history, she reinvents moments that seem to be taken out of reality, only to slightly bend them into fiction, she approaches this central idea through multi media installations where photography, performance, video and audio-tracks intertwine, whilst enmeshing the audience in an intimate dialogue with the artist.
Elianna Renner likes telling stories that are linked to everyday life and contain biographical elements. This technique creates moments that are shifting between objectivity and subjectivity – humorous and thought provoking at the same time.
 Trouillot, Michel Rolph: Silencing the Past – Power and the Production of History, Boston: Beacon Press, 1997