10.25 x 10.25"
96 pages
Duotone photographs
Harcover with jacket
ISBN: 1-884167-16-0
$39.95 USD

Shekhina
Photographs by Leonard Nimoy
Essay by Donald Kuspit









According to the Kabbalah, evil came into the world once God became separate from the "Shekhina", the deity’s feminine counterpart. The Shekhina came to be understood as a crucial element of both divine and human spirit, symbolizing the creativity and wisdom without which no being is complete. Renowned actor Leonard Nimoy has turned to photography as a means of inquiry into the mysteries of Shekhina. In his introductory text, Nimoy explains the influence Shekhina has had on the work: "I have imagined her as ubiquitous, watchful and often in motion. This work is my quest for insight, the exploration of my own spirituality, and, as such, has been a deeply moving and expanding process." Shekhina is an intensely personal meditation on the tensions of the spirit and the flesh, by a figure who has himself taken on an otherworldly significance to many.

In his introductory essay, critic, and writer Donald Kuspit describes Nimoy’s subject as, "the transmutation of sexual desire into spiritual aspiration, that is, the problem of sublimating sexual attraction into ideal beauty." In Kuspit’s provocative text, Nimoy’s fascination with the female body involves an element of temptation as well as transcendence: "In Nimoy’s ingenious photographs the covered figure symbolizes transcendental truth, while the uncovered figure evokes profane desire. The most intriguing photographs are perhaps those in which the figure is half clothed, half naked, conveying the conflict of spirituality and desire that I think is at the core of Nimoy’s art.... It is Nimoy’s abitlity to convey woman’s many-sidedness - Shekhina and succubus at once -that makes his photographs profound."