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ANIMA 2015

Nature's Museum, Jerusalem

curator - Sasha Okun

A few words about serious petty things


Pierre de Ronsard 

To Amadis Jamin

There are, Jamin, three times in this world:

Past, present and future.

For tomorrow we may never be sure

For it is out of our hold.


Yesterday is gone and there is no way

Of getting it again all over

Having it this time in our power:

But all we might control is today.


Therefore, Jamin, let's enjoy the present,

Unused it would become absent:

Let's drink to love and friendship.


While life still gives us leisure

Of enjoying wine, love and pleasure,

Let's brave time, worry and hardship.



I ignore whether Judith Anis knows that poem, but her work, the creations displayed in this exhibition belong to a philosophy of ultimate values, which pass, in a such a rapid and swift pace, to a serious consideration of topics that are far from "high" philosophy. It is possible to live an existence full of serious considerations about its meaning and… miss it. Many petty details of which our life is woven: a shivering foliage, a fish moving in a pond, an accidental kiss, the smile of an unknown girl, a sip of cool water - constitute its very essence - and to underestimate them is plainly stupid, a serious crime and even a sacrilege.

The art of enjoying every detail: a cup of wine, a piece of bread, the head movement of a lizard tanning in the sun, the blossom of a flower – is a great skill and one has to take it quite seriously. Properly, just the way that Ronsard, Renoir meant it, as well as… Judith Anis - no matter whether she is aware of it or not. Such skill is an awesome and rare gift, and alas not granted to everybody.

However, if we talk about seizing the instant and the unique, is not photography more precise as a tool than sketching and drawing? Sure! Indisputably… but just remember the words of the great French man called Henri Matisse: "Accuracy is not truth."

Indeed, Anis looks for the truth and she considers accuracy with incredible contempt: not the amount of feathers, but the changing shades; not the scales, but the arabesque in a light move. The posture of a flamingo, the poignant ears of a rhino, the striped pajamas of a zebra – this builds a character and reveal the unique nature of the animal.

Let's conclude this bizarre text (so far from the history of art) with another quote (we are not living in the Post-Modern era for nothing): "We can live without the indispensable, but without the superfluous it's impossible." The person who said that had much wisdom; she saw a lot and had great knowledge. She had long life, not a simple one and with periods of hardship but, in spite of everything, she was a happy person. And when she was speaking of indispensable articles, she knew exactly what she meant.

These small sketches may tell about petty, you may even say silly things; but without these details, our lives lose what we exist for. These details constitute in fact the diary of a few days in life of Judith Anis, who seems to be a person who has the skill of knowing what luck is and has the ability of finding it.

Sasha Okun

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