Born in 1966, Adi Nes studied photography from 1989-1992 at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. He is the recipient of several awards and scholarships including the Nathan Gottesdiener Foundation Israeli Art Prize, Tel Aviv Museum of Art in 2000 and the Constantiner Prize for Photography, Tel Aviv Museum of Art in 2003 and has been the chosen artist of the Israel Cultural Excellence Foundation since 2005. His works appear in the collections of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; The Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv; The Jewish Museum, New York; the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. Adi Nes will hold a solo exhibition at the Helena Rubinstein Pavilion at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in March 2007.
This work, considered his most important photograph, is from a series in which Adi Nes staged and digitally manipulated scenes of Israeli soldiers at work, in combat, at play and at rest. Questioning the very context of the macho role often equated with the Israeli soldier, Nes explores issues of gender, personal and national identity through a discourse with Greek and Roman mythology as well as art history masters such as Leonardo da Vinci and Caravaggio. Nes also refers to historic Zionist photographs documenting the founding of the state of Israel. Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper from 1498 is the compositional source for this photograph.
"Set in an abandoned barracks, the arresting... image depicts fourteen soldiers gathered at a table set with orange cups and plates the army's traditional dinnerware. Where the original fresco registers the drama of the moment in which Jesus announces that he will be betrayed, Nes' version illustrates no such tension. The disciples, including one extra that Nes says he added to get away from a direct quotation, are locked in private conversations while the central Jesus, his head haloed by a bush positioned behind him in the background, stares vacantly into space. Is this dazed Christ figure responding to the ongoing spiritual shellshock of life in the Middle East? The artist leaves interpretation open-ended, saying simply and sympathetically, 'I hope this isn't their last supper'". (Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego and Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College, Chicago, Adi Nes Photographs, 2002).
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