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March 2006 : A Camera Crusade through the Holy Land, Adi Nes’s Bible Stories, Mutar 15 Conference, Tel Aviv University
An Abstract
The lecture deals with Adi Nes’s The Bible Stories series. Throughout the years Nes stages scenes based on iconic images from mythology, the Bible, art history, Western civilization, the history of photography and from the Israeli reality as well as the history of homo-eroticism as a means to reflect current social and political reality.
The lecture discusses The Bible Stories, Nes’s latest series, by relating to Dwight Elmendorf’s book A Camera Crusade Through the Holy Land (1912). The essay opens with Elmendorf’s works in order to show how, in a complex process which deals with texts about art and post-colonial theories, with icons from the history of Western art and photography and with contemporary -critical strategies from the art discourse, Nes raises questions regarding Israeli identity and compels Israeli society to turn the gaze at itself. The lecture places Nes’s work in a local historiographic context and in relation to contemporary texts and suggests describing Ness’ works as a critical journey aided by the intervention of the camera.
The lecture shows how Nes navigates between times. His photographs show two ages, the biblical and contemporary, yet necessarily they incorporate at least one other, which the viewer can extract from the photographs. Thus, it is impossible to understand the contemporary, post-colonial situation without relating to the colonial era and without understanding the “Zionist Period”.

adi nes, joseph, from the series the bible stories, courtesy of the photographer 
Adi Nes, Joseph, from the series The Bible Stories, Courtesy of the Photographer 
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