Agnes Janich

Review 3

My City of Lodz

Karolina Murzic

June 2010

An official bulletin of the City of Lodz

 

Agnes Janich, an artist who made a name for herself e.g.in Austria and New York, comes back with her art to the town that bred her 24 years ago. She put children's sleepers on the buildings of the Lodz Ghetto - sleepers identical to those that the child prisoners of the actual ghetto made decades ago.

 

She was born in Lodz. As a child, she travelled with her family throughout Europe and the RSA. As a teenager, she decided to move to New York and graduate from a college there. Now she travels a lot, creating photographs, films and installation art. Her works are presented in the finest galleries all over the world.

 

Bits and Pieces is about the children of the ghetto. The artist put sleepers, dresses and earmuffs on the buildings of the Lodz district of Baluty. This is not, however, only an art project - it is also a nod towards the history of the town, for the building at 35 Lagiewnicka Street housed a pediatric ward, the one at Franciszkanska 14 - a doll-dresses workshop, and the one at Drewnowska 77 - an earmuffs workshop, all peopled by the children of the ghetto.

 

A sign of remembrance

 

This unique project is not just an arts event. Bits and Pieces is also a commemoration of the child victims of the Holocaust. These children don't exit in public memory. Their families didn't survive the war. They don't even have graves - explain the artist. I want to remind people of what happened here before the war - she adds.

 

Though adults also died in the ghetto, Agnes Janich focusses on children. After all, they are the ones who lost even their childhood, one's priciest treasure, here.

 

It must be a protest action

 

It seems, however, that the people of Lodz don't take due time to ponder Janich's installation. They are busy shopping in the Balucki Market and the Manufaktura shopping mall. Well, that is strange - exclaims an elderly lady with a quizzical look. It must be a protest action of nurses or doctors - guesses a gentleman carrying bags of strawberries.

 

When I draw their attention to the note on the fencing, explaining who did this and why, they brush me off with an I don't have time to read. Well, that is a pity, since Janich's subtle and precious piece won't be around for long, only till Jul 2nd.

© 2003 - 2018 Agnes Janich