Agnes Janich

Memory is Freedom, MOCAK Forum

Memory is Freedom. Freedom in the Body,

Patrycja Dolowy, PhD,

MOCAK Forum, Krakow Museum of Contemporary Art's journal,



"Recalling, remembering, the tedious job of collecting pieces of life, constitute a struggle to unite a body that fell apart, to unite the world and one’s own identity. Remembering through the body is a process of reclaiming freedom. Its source lies in the internal strength hidden somewhere in the body, even if imprisoned. The images, pieces and fragments that appear are united and integrated on the inside, opening the door to salvation, to escape. The memory of the body may, in a paradoxical way, not be able to break the barriers that limit our physical freedom, but it leads to an internal, conscious liberty that no one can halt. This is why I think that Agnes Janich’s That You Have Someone is so important. The work takes the body as its subject matter. A Holocaust body, yet one free and sensual. A body that craves and desires. Intimate images, intimate close-ups. A body despite everything, despite history. Janich collects intimate love stories from the time of the Shoah and collates them with erotic, intimate photographs. Her bodies, although the ‘official history’ tells us what most probably happened to them, survived after all. In the words of Marta Raczek-Karcz, PhD: "They win by loving and desiring. These feelings did not bring them to oblivion. They let them find dignity despite and within the Annihilation. They let them live through something that their perpetrators preyed upon as viciously as on their lives: the right to one’s body. One’s intimacy."

© 2003 - 2018 Agnes Janich