In 2012 Outset supported the exhibition Adi Nes: The Village at the Jewish Museum London in partnership with Leviev Extraordinary Diamonds.
Photographer Adi Nes is one of Israel’s most widely recognised artists, known for his provocative staged portraits and tableaux. Nes’ work focuses particularly on identity, on what it means to be an Israeli, and how masculinity is defined within that context. He frequently works in series and draws on past works of art or historical and mythological scenes as backdrops for his images. This exhibition, his first UK show, featured ten images from The Village, Nes’ most recent body of work.
The images here are all staged scenes, photographed in a fictional Israeli village. “The Village is like a dream, where much is beautiful and idyllic,” Nes has said, “yet it often contains ominous and mysterious elements. It is a metaphor for Israel, whose founding tragedy continuously lurks beneath the surface of the collective consciousness”.
Tension pervades psychologically, between the group and the outsider, between the elders, representing the old world, and the new world of youth; and visually, between light and darkness, between closed and open spaces.
Each of the photographs hovers either before or after an action, leaving the action open to the viewer’s personal associations. All untitled, the images remain ambiguous. On one level, they can be seen as commentaries on contemporary Israeli society. At the same time, they reference classic works of art, and reinterpret Biblical and mythological stories in a new context. Using archetypal allusions to tragedy and myth Nes situates the villagers as protagonists in an epic tale of isolation and utopianism.