Agnes Janich

Review 2

Naked art in Elektrownia
My Radom
Bartek Olszewski
Oct 13th, 2012


Clad in an ephemeral white dress, she thanked her loved ones with tears in her eyes.  She quoted English verses they spoke about herself. Without a dress. "It is a true art event", one could hear from the audience.

The exhibition presented the artist's films and photographs. Many of them picture her body clashed with texts in red handwriting. "One is not supposed to say how old is a woman, but since feminists want it, here goes: Agnes Janich is a 27-year old woman who shocked me with 2 things: her charm, winning over every man, and her persistence in what she does, how she thinks, how she behaves. She truly asserts her art with her life. This convinced me to give her this big 10-year retrospective.", said Zbigniew Belowski, the vice-director of Elektrownia. He was accompanied be the artist, all in white.

"I'll be blunt: in researching Elektrownia's history and found Agnes to be the only women aside of Bozena Kowalska, PhD, to win our institution over completely. It is unique. She is unique. Today no art critic can give his word for whether Agnes Janich's art will conquer the world, yet I can attest that she will.", said Belowski and referenced the monographic catalog accompanying the show, aslo titled Body Memory. "She deals with the topic of acceptance of the memory of the body and that of the war and the Holocaust that shaped herself and her family", Belowski added.

The artist gave back to Elektrownia, that day hosting special heaters to facilitate the performance. "There is no art without the audience. Working in places from Singapore through New York to Zurich, I haven't met such confidence in such a young person. The unconditional freedom and time I got here are things I am forever grateful for."

"I starr in these films and I direct them. When we shoot, I often get hysterical. I follow the needs of the films, and they don't often meddle in easy topics. My assistants come in handy here. The shoots are emotionally wrenching.", she said.

The performance followed. Agnes Janich, no longer clad in virgin whites, wrote her body in the words of others: "You do not have imperfections", "You are a gift of beauty, dignity and majesty to the world", "My blue butterfly", "As far as bondage in concerned, with you I could be the expert". The texts were translated onto Elektrownia's wall. The audience reacted with a standing ovation.

Agnes Janich dedicated her Radom show and book to two people who died during its preparation. She said, tears in her eyes: "They are Iza Wojciechowska, my professor whom I owe the courage to be who I am, and Leszek Suchodolski, whom I owe all that I am. They taught me to be myself without reservations. Thus I do not want to interpret my works for you, but I am interested in your interpretation, that through the filter of your self.", said the 27-year old artist.

© 2003 - 2018 Agnes Janich