Agnes Janich

Review 12

Painful works of Agnes Janich in Radom
Sept 25th, 2012

On Oct 12th, the MCCA Elektrownia in Radom will present Agnes Janich's solo show, Body Memory.

Body Memory is an exhibition presenting 3 of her film and photo projects: firstly, I Hate My Body When You're Gone, a series of films and pictures on self-destruction, fear of loneliness and the perverse fulfillment coming drawn from self-hurt. Secondly, Is a Whole More Than a Sum of Parts, an exploration of an young woman's journey reading her body through Other's quotes on her Self. Lastly, That You Have Someone, intensely erotic imagery combined with texts on Love in times of War.

Janich refences history of art from Carolee Schneeman's Interior Scroll to Marina Abramovic's Balkan Baroque and Tracey Emin's I Have it All. Janich's blood red nails resemble those of Marina Abramović in Balkan Baroque. The artist identified in this way with the excluded of the time – the communists, the whores and the freedom fighters. This detail is no coincidence.  Janich's films, shot in the post-Dogma esthetic, bear all the signs of self-made dairy straight out of a female boudoir. Yet her photographs question the glamour photo esthetic. Her body is bruised and battered.

Janich's earlier works deal with crematorium ovens. On loving in the shadow of the gas chambers. Janich uses herself to talk about female emotions. Human emotions. She is not afraid. She seems to see no barriers. Yer her works aren't easy. Neither are they easily made. Her bruises and blood are real. It took her 7 months to extract bits of shattered mirror from the palm of her hand.

Janich is against the self-mutilation taboo with all her self. Unlike Krystian Lupa or Francis Bacon, she needs pain to survive. She hold the right to inflict it like she holds the right to get an abortion done, she asserts. It is her business. It is anybody's personal business. And it can help.

Janich compares concentration camp violence to relationship violence in an uneasy way. Yet we want to look and listen.

Agnes Janich was born in 1985 in Lodz and lives and works in Warsaw and New York. She graduated from Photography in the School of Visual Arts. She deals with body memory and the memory of history and works in installations, film, photographs, sculptures, performances and public art. She took part in many solo and group exhibitions in the US, Italy, Austria, Spain and Switzerland. She has shown the 9th Sharjah Biennial, Zacheta, National Gallery of Art, Kunsthalle Exnergasse in Vienna, MLAC in Rome and the Auschwitz Jewish Center, an affiliate of the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York and MOCAK, Krakow. Next year, she will present her works the CCA Laznia, Gdansk and Garage CCC, Moscow. Agnes Janich is represented by Charim Galerie, Vienna and Keller Kunst, Zurich.

© 2003 - 2018 Agnes Janich