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Shekhina Hardcover – August 1, 2005

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Shekhina + The Full Body Project: Photographs by Leonard Nimoy
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Umbrage Editions (August 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1884167160
  • ISBN-13: 978-1884167164
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 0.7 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #437,991 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Leonard Nimoy was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1931. After his feature film debut in 1951, he pursued his acting career on the big screen as well as on stage and television. However, it was Nimoy's portrayal of the character Mr. Spock in the science fiction series "Star Trek" that earned him iconic status as well as three Emmy nominations. Aside from his numerous credits as an actor and director, Nimoy is also a successful recording artist and author, having published two autobiographies as well as several volumes of poetry, two of which also feature his photographs. He has long been interested in photography, and studied at UCLA with Robert Heineken in the early 1970s. He recently finished an appointment as artist-in-residence at the American Academy in Rome. Nimoy is represented by Bonni Benrubi Gallery in New York and Louis Stern Fine Art in Los Angeles. Donald Kuspit (Essay) is an art critic and a professor of art history and philosophy at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. An author of numerous articles, exhibition reviews, and catalog essays, Kuspit has written more than twenty books, including Redeeming Art: Critical Reveries (Allworth), and Idiosyncratic Identities: Artists At The End Of The Avant-Garde (Cambridge University Press.)

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

111 of 118 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I can understand how the religious would be offended by this work; it's got all the ingredients that would offend religious people.
But - but but but - I also have this to say.
As a Jewish woman, I'm tired of turning on the TV or going to a film and seeing negative portrayals of Jewish women. In film, actors like Ben Stiller are routinely - and almost exclusively - paired with blond, WASP leading ladies. This sends the wrong message. It makes Jewish women feel bad about themselves, and gives Jewish men the message that something is wrong with Jewish women.
Nimoy's work will not seem "Kosher" to many.
However, my immediate, gut emotional response - was to seeing an attractive, sensual portrayal of a Jewish woman on the cover, even if it was somewhat "immodest".
Does this represent me as a Jewish woman?
I sure hope so!
Does Fran Drescher?
Absolutely NOT.
THANK YOU, Mr Nimoy, for a much-needed celebration of Jewish femininity.
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62 of 65 people found the following review helpful By C.J. Hustwick VINE VOICE on November 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Nimoy in New York speak at length about his book of photography. As I listened to him, it became clear what a personal spiritual quest this process is for him, and that he has a deep passion for the power of photographic images.
This book follows on his previous work, tracing all the way back to Star Trek and the mystery of "Vulcanism." Essentially though, it seems to me to be a study of women in the nude, given a theme that fits in with Nimoy's admittedly loose association with Judaic tenets. There is no doubt great fascination that lies in the female/goddess relationship as explored in this book, but I just felt that this concept "framed" the work more than drove it. All things being equal, the photographs are very good and many thought-provoking. But then again, some, particularly towards the end, seemed self-conciously provocative. Once again, the Shekhina message is a loose one, ultimately serving Nimoy's personal views on sensuality. Nothing wrong with that!
Leonard Nimoy is a fascinating man with a probing mind, who sometimes outdoes himself in his unique mix of sentimentality and arrogance, and this book captures all of these things. But isn't that what we love him for? Keep up the great work Mr. Nimoy.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Erica N. Herron on August 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I shouldn't be dumbfounded by some of the negative responses this book has evoked. And yet I am.
As a deeply religious and spiritual person, as a feminist, and also a photographer of classical nudes not unlike those presented in this book, I commend Nimoy's work.
1. From an artistic perspective the technique, composition, and visual impact is intense and yet quiet.
2. From a feminist perspective, this work does NOT objectify women, but rather celebrates them. Mr. Nimoy has never been one to objectify women's bodies, as he made so clear with his Full Body Project in which he sympathetically photographed very, very rotund women. His very reference to Shekhina, the female aspect of the Hebrew God Yahweh (if you don't know anything about her, please look her up) shows his deep respect for women. Yes, these women are naked, but they are clothed in their own strength. They are not presented as objects of lust, but rather as beings connected to the spiritual realm. The nudity just serves to add to the poignancy, intimacy, and sincerity of the work.
3. Spiritually, there is nothing remotely insulting about this work. Nudity is not a filthy thing, just as sex is not (although this work is clearly not about sex.) Yahweh put Adam and Eve into the garden stark naked, because this was His idea of perfection, innocence, and beauty. It wasn't until sin came into play that clothes entered the scene -- Adam and Eve came up with the idea of clothing, and Yahweh just went along with it. Clothing is a social construct created by humans in reaction to their own shame. Worshiping before God nude shows our vulnerability, shows that we hold no barriers between ourselves and the Divine, and that we come to Him as He created us.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Cashew apple on October 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Ever been to a Jewel Kilcher concert? She's like an angel, everything pure and full of love, but so human. She's a real life example of everything Nimoy is trying to convey in this book. Angels among us, or the ideal force of a feminine divinity, spreading light and goodness only if we are sensitive to her presence. Women are elevated to share the spotlight with male divinity in Judaica, ecstatic angels, eyes closed to greet the light.
There's been a lot of fuss about the mix of religion and sensuality in this book, but half of the pictures don't even have anything revealing in them. What is visible in the other half is presented in the classiest way possible. These women are not presented as objects of our material posession, but as a physical representation of spiritual beauty. Some of the women glow from within, or are blurred into the ethereal. Most dramatic, in my opinion, are what he describes as a "spiritual pregnancy" and "spiritual birth" -- glowing light from within a woman's dress and then being born from her womb.
The text, also, has interesting and beautiful concepts in it. It may not be for everyone, but if you don't like it, don't look at it :-) That's what he said, anyway.
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