elianna renner

My embroi­dery alludes to tra­di­tion­al folk embroi­dery that incor­po­rates well-known proverbs such as „Home Sweet Home“. Here, the impre­cise needle­work on old, used dish tow­els flirts with tra­di­tion­al indus­tri­ous­ness and con­fronts the con­cept of home­sick­ness. Accord­ing to my research, home­sick­ness was ref­er­enced for the first time in Switzer­land in 1651. In 1688, nos­tal­gia as a dis­ease pat­tern was first defined by the doc­tor Johannes Hofer from Basel. Home­sick­ness is also called „Swiss dis­ease“ (Mor­bus Hel­veti­cus, Mal­adie Suisse). The relat­ed melan­choly is described as being caused by an unsat­is­fied long­ing for home. It can lead to the dete­ri­o­ra­tion of phys­i­cal health, to utter exhaus­tion, ema­ci­a­tion, fever, loss of appetite, and even death.

Rather than adorn­ing proverbs, here the needle­work adorns Latin terms relat­ed to med­ical exam­i­na­tions of homesickness/nostalgia delin­eat­ed in the arti­cle „Home­sick­ness and Crime“ by the psy­chi­a­trist and philoso­pher Karl Jaspers (1909). Jaspers report­ed on nan­nies work­ing far away from home who became vio­lent towards the chil­dren entrust­ed to their care. Jaspers attrib­uted the attacks of the young women to des­per­ate homesickness.

Sen­hej­ma in Esperan­to means home­less. The word is com­posed of “sen” which means with­out, from “sine” in Latin, as well as “hej­mo”, which can be found in Yid­dish as “heym” and in Ger­man as “Heim”, mean­ing home.

2021, Jan 14

melancholia nostalgica | nostalgische Melancholie (nostalgic melancholy)
melan­cho­lia nos­tal­gi­ca | nos­tal­gis­che Melan­cholie (nos­tal­gic melancholy)
dulce natale solum | süßer heimischer Boden (sweet native ground)
dulce natale solum | süßer heimis­ch­er Boden (sweet native ground)
spiritus animales | Lebensgeister – unreflektierte Instinkte/Emotionen (life spirits – unreflective instincts/emotions)
spir­i­tus ani­males | Lebens­geis­ter – unre­flek­tierte Instinkte/Emotionen (life spir­its – unre­flec­tive instincts/emotions)