Agnes Janich

Review 3

Pravda ( Slovak nationwide daily newspaper), 06/05/07, Culture.
Dolls As A Metaphor Of Cruelty.

The Divine? Series of a Polish artist in the Central European House of Photography in Bratislava.

Agnes Jeziorska [ now Agnes Janich ] shows photographs
 tackling major ethical questions.
Jena Opoldusova

A dolls’ head with hollow eye sockets, stuck on a pole. A corpse of another doll, pieced together with disproportionately small hands and legs. Yet another, with a black head atop a white body, sits in a bowl of scissors and surgical tools. Each motif is repeated on sixteen postcards. This collection of black and white images evokes uncanny sensations of manipulation and cruelty. But, the exhibition is titled Divine?. The author, Agnes J., is the Polish artist Agnieszka Jeziorska, living and working in New York. Last week she brought the show to the Central European House of Photography in Bratislava.

At the end of the 19th century in a decent Parisian hospital of Salpetriere a few talented neurologists desired to be Creators.  Using hypnosis, psychoactive drugs, tortures, electric shocks, tranquillizers and narcotics, they shaped their patient’s personalities.
(…)In Nazi concentration camps doctors created „the New Man“.
They tested human resistance to typhoid, gangrene and other infectious diseases. They operated without anaesthetization. They sterilized women. They produced genetic mutants. They purified the race.
In mental institutions and concentration camps the patients were documented by “medical” photographs. Those were then printed as postcards intended to help in educating future generations of Creators., Agnieszka Jeziorska said about her inspirations at the opening. The series premiered in the Warsaw Atheneum Gallery. The artist, who studied in Warsaw and New York, has shown in Berlin, London, Paris and Singapore. She transformed recent historical inspirations into a body of work getting straight to the heart and mind of the viewer. The minute one makes parallels, terrifying semblances occur. As a photographer, I used dolls for my postcards. Today in Iraq or Darfur I would see people in this form., the artist added.
The Divine? project is composed of eleven prints. Eleven exclamation marks made of toys. Children also sometimes tear a hand of a doll or dab her eye. By accident, in curiosity or in anger. Agnieszka Jeziorska destroyed dolls and pieced them together in one purpose – to remind us that what she does to dolls, others do now. To other people.
One can ponder about this message at the Divine? exhibition, open until July 1st.

© 2003 - 2018 Agnes Janich