Jason Lazarus’ new work The top of the tree gazed upon by Anne Frank while in hiding (Amsterdam, 2008) is part of his ongoing series of conceptual self-portraits that focus on his role as an artist experiencing the world. Recorded at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, this video is a contemporary consideration of an iconic figure in Jewish history, while also representing the artist himself.
In her diary, Anne Frank often reflects upon a chestnut tree, the top of which was her only connection to the outside world. She wrote, “….from my favorite spot on the floor I look up at the blue sky and the bare chestnut tree on whose branches little raindrops shine, appearing like silver, and at the seagulls and other birds as they glide on the wind….as long as this exists, I thought, and I may live to see it, this sunshine, the cloudless sky, while this lasts I cannot be unhappy….” With this poignant moving image, Lazarus invites viewers to share in the act of looking.
–Spertus Museum, 2009