Untitled (Last Supper)

Adi Nes
Israeli, born 1966
Untitled (Last Supper)
1999
Chromogenic print
90 x 144 cm
Gift of Gary B. Sokol, San Francisco
© The artist
Accession number: B02.0218

Through their extensive use during the last two millennia, the classic Christian themes of martyrdom and salvation have become universally recognized symbols. These are frequently incorporated in contemporary art - including works by Jewish and Israeli artists - and not necessarily in a religious context. Today Israeli photographers make use of explicit Christian themes as visual conventions imported directly from the history of art and their exposure to Western culture.
Adi Nes, a representative of the younger generation, is one of the leading forces in contemporary Israeli photography. Mainly concerned with issues of male identity, his work sways between fiction and reality and is endowed with a generous dose of drama. In an extended series of carefully constructed and staged photographs of enlisted men, he draws power from masters such as Caravaggio and Leonardo in order to express a personal view concerning the Israeli army and its soldiers. Like other contemporary tableaux Nes has created, his Last Supper is charged with a sense of distress and imminent danger, similar to that of traditional depictions of the scene in Renaissance art. Although not openly expressed, these sentiments are constantly present in both the overt and hidden symbolism in the image.

Publications:
Perez, Nissan N., Revelation: Representations of Christ in Photography, Merrell Publishers Limited in association with the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2003
The Israel Museum, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2005

Exhibition:
Revelation: Representations of Christ in Photography, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 22/05/2003 - 06/09/2003

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Pidem Fund, London