That You Have Someone # 1

Agnes Janich

Detailed information of ArtWork

Agnes Janich

That You Have Someone # 1

archival inkjet print on Hahnemühle cotton rag paper, framed in Nielsen state of the art, acid-free passe partout, a thick white wooden frame and museum glass with full UVA and UVB protection

40x60cm / 16x24in

From the artist's studio.

• Agnes Janich, Galerie Walter Keller, Zurich, CH & Chim, Clair Galerie, St Paul de Vence, FR & Munich, D, 2013 (solo) • That You Have Someone, BWA Contemporary Art Gallery, Zielona Gora, PL, 2012 (solo) • Body Memory, MCCA Elektrownia, Radom, PL, 2012 (solo, with catalog)

• Humanism Reloaded, Daniele Muscionico, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Feb 19th 2013 • Bodies Despite All, on Agnes Janich's That You Have Someone, Marta Raczek-Karcz, PhD, artmix, 2013 • Yes, there was love in the ghetto, Agnieszka Gniotek, Format, vol.63 • I could be made into 21 soaps, Paulina Nodzynska, Gazeta Wyborcza, March 2nd, 2012 • Art shows at the 10th Era New Horizons Film Festival in Wroclaw, Gazeta Wyborcza, July 6th 2010 • Roman Gutek's Feuilletons - New Horizons of Art, Gazeta Wyborcza, July 12th 2010 • 10th ENH: Cinema Reigns in Wroclaw, again, Ewa Orczykowska, Gazeta Wyborcza, July 21st 2010 • A performance about the Holocaust, Agata Saraczynska, Gazeta Wyborcza, July 31st 2010

• “Looking closely, on one of the bodies of the lovers one can see a stigma, a kind of tattoo: a short outline of a love story, written and engraved on the skin in brave student writing. They are collections of confessions which Janich found during her research on the WW2 in diaries of Holocaust survivors. Under the skin of today’s young Europeans - whether of Jewish origin or not - the spirits of that time are still alive. So says the artist, and to make it more convincing she uses her very own body. There is no doubt that the strategy of seduction implemented by Janich, educated in New York and operating internationally, is as cold-blooded as it is clever. (…) Conciliatory. Yes, this is it. David Seymour (Chim), who lost his parents in a Nazi death camps, used child war victims in his message of peace. Agnes Janich, from the Facebook generation, uses the eroticism of her own body to bring us to the same conclusion. And perhaps even further. From the feeling of guilt to the state of - harmony?” [Humanism Reloaded, Daniele Muscionico, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Feb 19th 2013] • "Agnes Janich painstakingly researched the archives of Auschwitz, Mauthausen-Gusen, Majdanek, Bergen Belsen, Ravensbrueck. She read diaries published but once, in 1950’s Poland. She devoured Hanna Krall’s and Marek Edelman’s novels and met dozens of survivors in a constant search of a tactic that would allow her not just to archive or chronicle, but to comment upon (…) the body. Yet not an annihilated body. A body that wants and desires. That loves. A body outside the limits of history. (…) Dominic LaCapra writes from the point of view of psychoanalysis: these reflections prove the need for critical work on the topic of memory in the hope of bringing back an imagined past and thus opening up the future. Janich does exactly that. Upon seeing her images, we begin to relate. To feel. (...) We become the characters of the story. In her project, Janich picks up on a topic hardly ever present in Holocaust narration. A topic silenced and swept under the carpet, on which Didi-Huberman, touching on the four images remaining from Birkenau: the most important is not there. The body. (…) Janich's hunger for love seems to come from a need to save one's body and oneself. My body, my love, my desire are what allow me to believe the illusion of normalcy. They become my weapon in a fight forever unequal, forever fatal yet never forlorn. The fight to save myself. (...) Janich's project tells no easy narratives. It is full of stories which shouldn't have taken place but they did. Of stories that we've done so much to silence, layering them with pompous tales of the past. Yet these stories cannot be silenced. Stories recalled by Agnes Janich speak of a war that leaves no place for hope. A mother cannibalizing on her own child just to die a few days later, a woman who will wait sixty years for a lover never to return from the dead, Anka, who remains loyal to her fiancé and thus dies in a concentration camp…All these women are battered by the war and its inhumane rights, yet they win. They win by loving and desiring. (...) What terrified yesterday’s perpetrators is too much to take by today’s historians. The love and desire the camp guards tried so hard to erase is today being erased from the heroic, martyrological tales of victims. Janich successfully brings up an otherwise silenced topic. She also brings back the dignity to these bodies - now people, much deserving their place in Holocaust narration." [Bodies Despite All, on Agnes Janich's That You Have Someone, Marta Raczek-Karcz, PhD, artmix, 2013] • "How would you love in the shadow of Auschwitz's chimneys? (...) An important if at times shocking show of Agnes Janich in BWA Zielona Gora. Brave, erotic imagery at times bordering on kitsch." [I could be made into 21 soaps, Paulina Nodzyńska, Gazeta Wyborcza, March 2nd 2012] • "A taboo-breaking exhibition. Pain, loneliness and difficult relationships, all this as told by the international artist, Agnes Janich, in her films and photographs." [Ból, samotność, erotyka, czyli Agnes Janich w Elektrowni, Agencja, Arpass] • "Perhaps only art can get us closer to the what and why of the Holocaust. Perhaps it can speak volumes that survivors cannot tell. This is the most horrifying - and the most beautiful - love letter." [Yes, there was love in the ghetto, Agnieszka Gniotek, Format, vol.63] • "At first glance the connection between the anecdotes and the images appears fortuitous or even ironic, as if lovemaking is trivial in the face of these terrible situations. But Janich’s point seems to be much more emotionally complex than that. (…) Pleasure has a setting, a background, and for anyone these days this background is full of shadows. At the same time, of course, it is precisely such moments of physical and emotional connection that enable people to survive the most horrendous situations, make choices that involve supreme sacrifices, and consecrate their lives to remembrance and faith. Janich’s greatest strength is that she locates this capacity for love and the vulnerability to violence in the same place: the body. There are no abstractions in her work; everything has to be lived before it can be known and remembered. Only then – with the help of art as part of the process of living – can liberation begin." [Agnes Janich’s Task, Lyle Rexer, art critic associated with Aperture, 2012] • "Janich, a young artist, asks us: How to love in the shadow of the crematoria? How can we feel the past? (...) She questions human relationships by observing behaviors we would rather forget about." [Artist’s Talk: Agnes Janich, The Viennese Art Magazine, Editor’s Note, 2012] • Thyrza Nichols Goodeve, PhD, associated with Art Forum, added: “Pujol suggests, and Janich’s work acts out, how there is no static self but only one wholly susceptible to time (the displacement and deferral of Derrida's différance), ever in evolution, in a state of becoming. (…) Janich produces the fragmented discourse of the self as a lover’s discourse (Barthes’ book, after all, is called A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments); of memory, affect, and absent presence. Both war and love explode the boundaries of the self, as Agnes Janich shows. But we are given the chance as viewer’s to begin again in a language of the body. (…) I say to the other (old or new): in War and Love, let us begin again." [In War and Love, My Strength Is My Vulnerability, Thyrza Nichols Goodeve, PhD, 2012] • ”Agnes Janich is suspicious. Normally someone like her would explain themself. She doesn't. For comparing love to Treblinka she gets pulled to pieces like Sarah Kane. She personalizes the topic to the limits of the bearable. She universalizes. Sometimes she's almost lying for the benefit of the truth. She found a way: herself. Making soaps out of her young, model-like body. Staging pictures of sex serving as a background for stories of cannibalism and exchanging a life for a life. Her full breasts and childlike face don't make the truth of those moments any better. Love here is useless like a soul in Treblinka." [Ganz Andere, Professor Joanna Tokarska-Bakir, 2009] • "It is difficult to ponder on the unquestionable visual pleasure of looking at the works since they, at the same time, make one's stomach hurt.(...) An essay on self-destruction with the common denominator of the body. The past is written into it, a past Janich tries to decode. It's most obvious language is pain, pain making her know that she still feels, making her make good with the world. The artist is not afraid to abuse her bodily flesh to show us the haunting secrets of existence normally just whispered upon. Her body becomes an absolute, a sacrifice, an offering. An all-encompassing declaration of: I will do everything, give everything, just to get closeness in return."[76] and concluded: "The artist redefines nudity in its current cultural context. Body Memory is made of a double optics: first, of the limited, physical body, second, of its liveliness, its sensuality, its intimacy, its identity, all facing the unrelenting power of history." [Wojna i ciało, Zuzanna Sokołowska,, Nov 14th, 2012] "Janich treats her own physicality as a vessel for memory - a memory that needs be forever galvanised and preserved. (...) She transgresses the boundaries of her own materiality in her brutal, difficult performances, where the worst suffering is inflicted upon her very body." [Creating Oneself Again. Identity Change in Contemporary Artists` Activities, Amor Fati: an Anthropological Philosophical, Journal, Zuzanna Sokołowska, vol.1 (7) / 2017] • "The first impression is misleading. It only prepares the way to additional layers and dramas that play out in these photos. Janich's sexualized images are camouflage. In one image, she shows the fragile eroticism of young bodies that want to be loved. In contrast are the authentic tales of yearning and the threat of death told by former war victims. Janich inserts them into the love scenes with her handwriting, in which she assumes the female role. Thus we enter historical events from today, as they were violently etched into victims' bodies back then. The combination of making love today and the testimonials of former victims written on the bodies asserts the seriousness and depth of Janich's artistic gesture." [CHIM (David Seymour) and Agnes Janich,, the art network, Zurich] • The text on the work reads: "Two lovers were parted for the whole war. She was waiting in neutral Sweden, he was hiding in Lithouania. He slept with a woman there. He cared for her gardens. A German soldier lost on the Eastern front shot him. For the next 60 years, she remained alone."

1 of 5

Signed and dated on the verso



Genève Switzerland

Rue Henri-Blanvalet, Geneva, Switzerland