Bremen, 2008

84.4 signifies the exact distance in kilometres from Elianna Renner’s front door to the gate of the Bergen-Belsen memorial. The performance relates to the analysis of strands of memory, entwined with one another which lead from Zurich, via Bergen-Belsen, to Bremen.

In the performance, we see a person with an LED headlamp, sitting in the middle of a darkened room on a pile of woollen jumpers, pulling out their individual threads at a calm yet steady pace. On the one hand, through the unravelling, there is a personal confrontation with the entwined material. On the other, the anonymity of the material through its sheer mass is transfigured through the deconstruction of the individual stitches. At the same time the total length of the separated threads equates to the 84.4 kilometre distance. Headphones have been placed around the performance site on which an autobiographical story plays perpetually. This leads to the listener entering the tale at a coincidental moment and encountering the storyteller at a random part of their history. In the darkened room, the eyes are drawn to the person with the light source sitting amidst the jumpers going about their business. The unpicked woollen threads become the material with which new structures can be entwined.

Two parallel images are created, one is a symbolically charged, but secretive image for the onlooker without headphones and another one for the listening onlooker in which the audio track aligned with the image offers a dénouement of the performance.