Adi Nes’ photographs are stunning, bold, and often controversial. This will be the first Canadian survey of the internationally acclaimed Israeli photographer’s work. Attesting to the artist’s importance in a society fraught with conflict, his meticulously crafted images have become part of the collective visual culture beyond Israel. The exhibition includes Nes’ most prominent photographs from the series Soldiers (1994-2000), Boys (2000), and Biblical Stories (2003-2006), including the iconic Untitled (The Last Supper) (1999).
Referencing art history and photojournalism, Nes’ interpretations of Biblical, mythological, and literary themes propose a critical view of present-day Israel, while seeking to uncover a universal humanism. Conversely, his examinations of the military environment, tenement towns, and the fringes of Israeli society take on mythical dimensions, enabling a philosophical inquiry into the narratives that underlie national identity. Nes’ own sense of marginality, informed by his Kurdish and Iranian heritage, his queer identity, and his experience growing up in the development town of Kiryat Gat, influence his artistic vision and provide a particular filter for the realities of his homeland. His perspective generates a meaningful and subversive exploration of notions of masculinity, as well as cultural and sexual identity, within contemporary Israeli and global contexts.