Shekhina (2002)


Published in 2002 the book of photography created some controversy as it was showing nude models in religious context, touching on questions of the female place and role in religion. It's main concern, though, was "to explore the feminine aspect of God in human form, including the issues of sensuality and sexuality." In May 2004 Mr. Nimoy's Photographs were first shown at the R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton.

The Full Body Project (2007)

The Full Body Project

Who are these women? Why are they in these pictures? What are their lives about? How do they feel about themselves? These are some of the questions I wanted to raise through the images in this collection. - Leonard Nimoy.


Secret Selves (2010)

Leonard Nimoy had his first stand alone exhibition at a museeum in 2010, showing photographs that delve into questions of identity. Visit MassMoca's page for Mr. Nimoy. All three books can be ordered from R. Michelson Galleries, where you can also find more information about the artist. Sponsor for the MassMoca exhibition Bonnie Moss shares memories of the opening day with us here.




Exhibitions at the Michelson Gallery

Leonard Nimoy Retrospective Exhibit on July 29, 2010

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usby Bobbie Reno

I had the pleasure of attending the Leonard Nimoy Retrospective Exhibit of Leonard's photography at the R.Michelson Galleries in Northampton, MA on July 29, 2010.  (more/close)

Leonard Nimoy Retrospective Exhibit on July 29, 2010

by Bobbie Reno

I had the pleasure of attending the Leonard Nimoy Retrospective Exhibit of Leonard's photography at the R.Michelson Galleries in Northampton, MA on July 29, 2010. The R.Michelson Galleries is a beautiful place filled with gorgeous works of art.  The highlight of all the works displayed there are Leonard Nimoy's photographs. I had the thrill of meeting Leonard at the Retrospective and discovering it is true that Leonard is a man of grace, intelligence, kindness and diverse talents; a rare gem of a man. I felt moved to be standing talking with this wonderful gentleman while amongst his beautiful photographs. Each of Leonard's photography projects were represented; from Shekhina, Full Body Project, Black and White Series, Self Portrait and Hand Series, Borghese Series, Landscapes and Egg Series Classic Nudes and Dance Series, Early Work, to Secret Selves.  All of these photographs can be purchased through the R.Michelson Galleries.

The photograph is graciously autographed by Leonard and Richard Michelson. That's Richard sitting on the table and that is I on the right holding a copy of the Secret Selves Catalogue that Leonard signed.  We are looking at a newspaper article from the Albany, NY Times Union, dated July 29, 2010, on Leonard's photography. I brought the paper with me that day and gave it to Leonard. He was thrilled and thanked me several times over for bringing it to him.

Image Hosted by

Please have a look at to learn more about Mr. Nimoy's photography.

Roberta Reno has been an active fan for a long time. The cover for the LNAF 69-70 (Leonard Nimoy Association of Fans) yearbook and other illustrations were done by her.






Photographs Included in Other Exhibitions

Scope Miami (2011)

invitation (more/close)





Life Force Magazine Photo EssayAccording to Life Force Magazine, to which Mr. Nimoy contributed a photo essay for the November 2011 edition, his work will be on view at Scope Miami, November 29th to Dec 4th. In a short statement prefacing the photos he writes about the reason why in the beginning he was hesitant to have the models look directly at the lens.


Those subscribing to the R. Michelson Galleries newsletter got the chance to get tickets to Scope Miami. A preview of Mr. Nimoy's new Eye Contact series is located here on the R. Michelson Galleries webpage.


Continuum: Gender Identities (2011)

ContinuumThe exhibition, running from April 30 – June 3, turns an eye on gender and the gendered role models we're exposed to each day of our lives. (more/close)



Curator Nancy Moore

The idea for this show came to me a year ago while reading Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way for the fifth time. As the mother of a transgender son, I was searching for a voice, a way to “come out” in the town I am so proud to live in. I approached the Ridgefield Guild of Artists about doing a show on gender, and they embraced it enthusiastically. Together, we resolved to have a “big conversation in a small town.” The idea that art can create a safe space in which to explore timely and significant topics is a critical component of RGA’s mission.

Continuum: Gender Identities takes its name from the concept that each of us exists somewhere on the continuum between male and female. For some of us, that space is clearly defined; for others, it is more fluid. Some of us move about freely in the world in our given skins; others shed that skin and create a new one. This subject is important in a variety of ways, given the bombardment of gendered messages women, men, boys, and girls receive through the mass media each day; American society’s uneasy quest to define marriage; our embattled don’t-ask-don’t-tell military policy; our acceptance or non-acceptance of celebrities who have “come out”; and the very intimate struggle of individuals, young and old, who are questioning their own place on the gender spectrum.

I invited 52 artists—straight, gay, and in between–to depict gender: from traditional images of masculine and feminine, to work that bends or questions gender roles. They were invited to display their depictions of gender in any of its manifestations: in nature, in the human family, in a political context, as an abstract concept, or as a personal statement.

Some of the artists you see here have exhibited widely and to great acclaim; others have never shown their art before. Thus, the continuum extends in many directions, including media. You will see painting, sculpture, comic art, glass, photography, ceramics, jewelry, cyanotype, fiber art, digital art, woodcut, encaustic, and video art, created by artists from Holland, Korea, New Zealand, Ecuador, Canada, and Seattle, San Francisco, New Jersey, Vermont, Portland OR, Virginia, Rhode Island, New York, Santa Fe, Philadelphia, and Connecticut.

I truly believe that with information comes understanding. That is why I invited the artists to write statements about their art and their lives as they relate to the subject of the continuum, mounted next to their artwork. It’s why there is a gender bookshelf at the entrance to the show (and a bibliography at the back of the exhibition catalogue). It’s why adolescents were invited to write their thoughts and display their art in the upstairs gallery. When the world becomes a safer place for my son and everyone else who falls at various places on either end of the gender spectrum, it becomes a better place for us all.

Source: Ridgefield Guild of Artists

Norwalker's work to be featured in exhibit exploring gender issues
Published 12:40 p.m., Friday, April 29, 2011

Norwalker Diana Moore's work will be on exhibit in The Ridgefield Guild of Artists "Continuum: Gender Identities," an art exhibition running from Saturday through June 3.

The exhibit is chaired and curated by Nancy Moore of Ridgefield, a working artist and parent of a transgender son. The opening reception will be from 6 to 9 p.m.

This show is based on the concept that each of us exists somewhere on the continuum between male and female, says Nancy Moore. She notes that for some that space is clearly defined; for others, it is more fluid.

"Some of us move freely about in the world in our given skin; others shed that skin and create a new one. Given the bombardment of gendered messages that women, men, boys and girls receive through the mass media each day; American society's uneasy quest to define marriage; our embattled don't-ask-don't-tell military policy; our acceptance or non-acceptance of celebrities who have `come out'; and the very intimate struggle of individuals, young and old, who are questioning their own place on the gender spectrum, this subject is timely in a variety of ways," she said.

"If only one person comes through this exhibit with a parent or a friend and is able to have a discussion about gender orientation that might not have occurred otherwise, then we have fulfilled our mission. My goal and the goal of the Guild is to enable a big conversation in a small town--to create a dialogue between artist and audience about gender in an environment that is not charged with the usual awkwardness surrounding this subject."

Continuum is an exploration of how artists choose to depict gender in their work: from traditional images of masculine and feminine, to work that bends or questions gender roles. They have been invited to display their depictions of gender in any of its manifestations: in nature, in the human family, in a political context, as an abstract concept or as a personal statement.

Among the pieces will be Diana Moore's "Spiral Purse." She says, "For me the purse's interior represents the private self; the exterior, the public self. Though the purse is a female possession, the steel of which it's made is masculine, evoking strength and endurance. This androgyny is ever present in my work."

As a result of the international buzz surrounding this exhibit, also on display will be prints from Korea, the work of an award-winning documentary filmmaker from New Zealand, two `outsider' artists from Holland, a graphic artist from Ecuador, and two printmakers from Cape Dorset, Canada. Actor Leonard Nimoy's work will also be in the show. Nimoy is an accomplished photographer, having recently exhibited at Massachussetts Museum of Contemporary Arts (with a rave review in the New York Times).

Source: Norwalk Citizen

Big Conversation in a Small Town

“Since the show’s inception, it has blossomed in many unexpected and welcome directions,” says Moore. “The show was originally conceived as national in scope, but it has rapidly gone international as the buzz has spread through the social network. As a result, we will be displaying C-prints from Korea, the work of an award-winning documentary filmmaker from New Zealand, two ‘outsider’, artists from Holland, a graphic artist from Ecuador, and two printmakers from Cape Dorset, Canada. Another wonderful development is that actor Leonard Nimoy’s work will also be in the show.

Source: Minuteman News Center

Review: Exploring the "Continuum"

Moore invited 52 artists, 36 of whom are Connecticut natives or current residents (others hail from as far away as Holland, Ecuador and New Zealand), to provide works on the subject of gender, leaving the choice of media and themes up to them. As the result the exhibit spans everything from painting, ceramics and video to jewelry, photography and fiber art; the themes encompassed are at once traditional, personal, abstract, rule-breaking and political. Among the most affecting is Ridgefield artist Mary Louise O'Connell's simple oil study of her elderly parents, "The Last Year," which invites viewers not only to reflect on the gender roles played by the couple in the painting, but their own.

Overall, there's a lot to love, whether sentimental, daring or just really funny: assemblage artist Nina Bentley's tribute—made up of antique typewriter, jewelry findings and gold wire—to her 15-year-old granddaughter's love of poetry ("A Poem for All People"); 18-year-old bigender digital artist Mady/Eric Guiliani's Schmee Film Compilation (which climaxes with a gender-bending romp choreographed to the Ben Folds/Regina Spektor song "You Don't Know Me"); carbon-steel purses by sculptor Diana Moore; and excerpts from two photo series by Leonard Nimoy (yes, that Leonard Nimoy), including the captivating "Secret Selves" and "Full Body Project," in which Nimoy reimagines famed portraits of women by Herb Ritts, Helmut Newton, Henri Matisse and Sandro Botticelli with the help of San Franciscan burlesque troupe, The Fat Bottom Revue.

Participating artists were also asked to contribute a written statement about their art and their lives as both relate to the subject of the exhibit, which dramatically reveal how difficult it often is to try to make an artistic concept literal. Some of the most telling remarks are the briefest. Joslyn Newman's striking watercolor-and-ink shadowbox of paper dolls, complete with interchangeable clothes, is accompanied by her comment: "My mother always taught me to be comfortable and do what feels right. If only finding that comfort were as easy as choosing what to wear." Mary Valencia pairs her disturbing drawing "Got Your Back"—depicting a woman's feet (with heels that have formed into spikes) walking an agonized man's back—with the not so simple question, "If there was a war of the sexes, could anybody win?"

Source: Connecticut


4. European Month of Photography Berlin & Art.Fair21 (2010)


The Emerson Gallery, Berlin, Germany, will be showing Leonard Nimoy's photographs from November 6th, 2010 through January 15th, 2011. The exhibition is part of the European Month of Photography Berlin. (Exhibitions in chronological order). Newsagency AFP posted a piece about Mr. Nimoy's Berlin exhibition on YouTube. Nackte Haut und üppige Kurven auf Fotos von "Mr. Spock".

The Gallery will also be representing Mr. Nimoy's work at the Art.Fair21 in Köln, Germany, from October 29th to November 1st. Here are two news items, both in German, about the events. Leonard Nimoy "The Full Body Project" about the Emerson Gallery exhibit and Alpträume als Wand- und Raumschmuck about the Art.Fair21 with a brief mention of Mr. Nimoy's work.

DAMNED III – An Exhibition of Enlightened Darkness (2010)

Mr. Nimoy provided photographs from his Shekhina project to the Detroit exhibition event. (more/close)



Damned III

On October 28-30 2010 in Detroit, there will come a congregation of the most controversial fine art artists from across the world to display their darkest of creations at DAMNED III – An Exhibition of Enlightened Darkness. From the infamous, which recently included rock legend Marilyn Manson and Oscar winner HR Giger, to the freshest of local and international talent, this ominous assembly will exhibit a diversity of artistries from the deeply depraved to the intensely introspective guaranteed to intrigue, disturb, captivate or repulse. This was not Halloween-themed art but a submergence within the shadowed realms of consciousness through an unique ambiance of ethereal soundscapes, art-inspired gallery vignettes and cirque/butoh-inspired stage performances.

Then, on Devil’s Night (October 30), DAMNED will transform into a sensuous celebration beginning with an intimate six-course presentation style dinner followed by a formal masquerade ball within the milieu of exotic rhythms, floor performances and art.

DAMNED III - An Exhibition of Enlightened Darkness
Devil's Nights - October 28/29/30 2010
Tangent Gallery / Hastings St Ballroom
715 Milwaukee St E, Detroit, MI 48202

Source: Dammed III on Myspace

"Featuring the introspective works of Leonard Nimoy and Marcel Marceau." How did you manage THAT? And yes, we are asking it respectfully.

This was not an easy task, but something amazing rarely is. With our namesake and nearness to Halloween, our first impressions given are often horror-based, which can sometime create barriers on art requests. However, with great diligent work from guest curators Les Barany and Adam Layne, we were all able to convey respectfully how Nimoy's spiritual Shekhina series and Marceau's introspective paintings fit perfectly within our underlying theme and focus. Our goal has been to create as much within our means a world-class exhibition of deeply introspective fine works from artists worldwide. In the first two years, we were fortunate to feature the works of Oscar winner HR Giger and rock legend Marilyn Manson. The inclusion of Leonard Nimoy and the late Marcel Marceau this year in DAMNED III is now an amazing segue towards our new tagline: "An Exhibition of Enlightened Darkness."

Source: Real Detroit Weekly

Damned III
An exhibition of enlightened darkness

This is the third annual exploration of that terra incognita and (not surprisingly) it’s an even more polished and ambitious one than the two that preceded it. Eclectic to the nth degree, DAMNED III is nothing less than a royal summons to investigate artistic introspection and to see what kind of “enlightened darkness” results. It has a gothic patina in many respects, but it is NOT a Halloween bash. It touches on matters erotic, but it is NOT The Dirty Show. The masquerade party/six-course dinner that will highlight the final soiree on Devil’s Night will be more Baudelaire than Bela Lugosi.

And the art you will enjoy is intended to be the very ambiance of the show itself. 128 creative people have contributed or will contribute paintings, sculpture, installations, videos, music, dance, acrobatics, spoken word performances, and the like. And yes, there will be absinthe. Indeed, if the Tangent Gallery/Hastings St. Ballroom only had the additional virtue of being fashioned like that “castellated abbey” Prince Prospero resided in … well, the color scheme would be perfect.

It would be criminal not to mention a few of those remarkable contributors – and we hope that you will pursue a more thorough investigation of their works and remarkable skills in the months ahead. In addition to pieces submitted by Leonard Nimoy and the estate of Marcel Marceau, DAMNED III will feature Aunia Kahn, the cirque of Justine and Jade, Robert Morris, Gabrielle Pescador, Eddie Thiel, Sioux Trujillo, Robert Landry, Kristine Diven, Satori Circus, Ana L. Bar, the hypnotic swaying of Chantel and Amber, Jerry Shirts, the aerial graces of Flyhouse, the magic strings of Dixon's Violin, Miss Pussykatt and the Devil Dolls, the virtuoso presence of Sugar Hiccup who will be providing music for the masquerade ball - an ultra rare performance and an appropriately monikered person from somewhere named Weirdartist. That is not the tip of the iceberg, folks, that’s just an

Source: Metromix



100 Artists See God (2004)

100 artists were invited "to one of art's most enduring challenges: picturing the divine. The artists selected for this exhibition are (...) those who possess the sense of humor and audacity necessary for such a project, or artists who are 'likely to surprise.'" March 7, 2004 - June 27, 2004. (more/close)


100 Artists See God is a traveling exhibition organized by Independent Curators International. The guest co-curators, artists John Baldessari and Meg Cranston, are tackling the ever-challenging question of God in this exhibition. Baldessari and Cranston have invited 100 artists to respond to one of art's most enduring challenges: picturing the divine. Recent political developments have also led the public to examine the notion of "divine authority"- in the curators' words, "God is news." The artists selected for this exhibition are those whose work the curators know and admire, those who possess the sense of humor and audacity necessary for such a project, or artists who are "likely to surprise."

An exhibition that goes beyond universal images of traditional faiths to offer individual interpretations of spirituality. The show was organized around the following questions: How contemporary artists see God? Ho and why might the point of view of artists reinforce-or stand in contrast to that of the general public? And what comfort or answers do we all seek in spiritual undertakings of varying kinds?

Source: Contemporary Jewish Museeum


God makes appearance in traveling exhibition
Religion's impact on `100 Artists'
September 15, 2005|By MICHAEL KILIAN

Our subject today is God.

Not God as politics, which has occupied newspaper pages for far too long a time, but the much more agreeable one of God as art.

In the earliest centuries of civilization, in fact, nearly all art had to do with God or, if you will, gods.

Casimir Malevich, the raging revolutionary Russian artist, spent the better part of his artistic career searching for a true image of God, and came up with a black circle.

Neither is represented in "100 Artists See God," a new exhibition of works by contemporary artists organized by the New York-based Independent Curators International.


The show is curated by the whimsical and oft irreverent California artist John Baldessari and artist/arts scholar Mary Cranston. In an essay accompanying the show, they wrote: "Whether or not one believes in God, whether we describe ourselves as theists, atheists, or even anti-theists, we all live in a world that is profoundly influenced by concepts of God. We were pretty sure the notion of God was affecting world events, but we had no certain idea how, or whether, God and religion were affecting art. So we decided to ask the artists."


Californian Leonard Nimoy's contribution is an exquisite photographic print of a beautiful dark-haired woman standing by the sea. She wears many bracelets.

More here.



Recent photographs by Leonard Nimoy and Nick Czap. Through April 2, Michael Martin Galleries, Suite 500, 251 Post St., San Francisco. (Article about the exhibition here: SF Gate)



Inspired By...

Leonard Nimoy: The Icon and the Image (Proposed)

The people who did the documentary on Sex & Religion now turn to a portrait of Mr. Nimoy as a photographer. (more/close)


Leonard Nimoy: The Icon and the Image

Leonard Nimoy’s life has been about images. As a ten-year-old boy growing up in a two-bedroom apartment in Boston with his Yiddish-speaking Orthodox Jewish parents, his brother and his grandparents, he discovered the family camera. It was a discovery that would spark a life-long pursuit of art, truth and beauty, often within the context of his Judaism.

At one time enrolled in photography at UCLA, Nimoy abandoned his original love for a life as an actor and celebrity. His is one of the most famous faces in the world. He is more than just a movie star really. He is a pop culture icon. TV Guide recently named his Mr. Spock as one of the 50 Greatest TV Charters of all time.

Now in his eighties, he has returned to his passion for photography. Nimoy’s pictures are widely acclaimed and respected, and he is just as engaged as ever in the pursuit of art. Leonard Nimoy: THE ICON AND THE IMAGE looks at his work as a photographer as the man reflects on the life he has led, and the curiosity that drives him to continue to create.

Unbelievably, there has never been a documentary produced on Nimoy’s livelong creative quest. The film will mark the first and perhaps only document of artist who has made his way permanently into the lexicon of popular culture.



CALL and RESPONSE I: the art of Leonard Nimoy

An art project inspired by Mr. Nimoy's photos at Mastodon Mesa Gallery


March 22, 2011 – May 6, 2011
opening reception March 22 5:00pm- 8:30pm

Leonard Nimoy
Ivory Lee Carlson
Megan May Daalder
Steven Andrew Garcia
Zena Grey
Lisa Katnic
Sage Keeler
Luke McGowan
James Merson, Kevin Blechdom & William Hutson
Suki-Rose Otter
Adam Villacin
Dorian Wood

“Call and response,” or antiphony, is a musical technique employed by various cultures, in which one partner offers a phrase, and, in turn, a second partner generates a phrase which connects in some way to the first.

Two of the most ancient traditions of call and response are found in African and Indian cultures:

Sub-Saharan Africa: this tradition has many echoes in contemporary American culture. It is part of what anthropologists regard as a “pervasive pattern of democratic participation” in the civic affairs and religions of the region.

Characteristically, a leader makes a statement, and the responder affirms it.

Those who are witnessing, speaking, or singing are encouraged by the responses and those who are about to experience issues are empowered to be victorious. — Brother Dennis L. Slaughter, History of Gospel Music

Sawaal-Javaab: “question and answer” is a tradition of North Indian classical music, in which one player issues a challenge to the other, who either replicates it identically, or embellishes it.

It is both competitive and collaborative. The two participants are friendly rivals. — Sound of India

Part of the fascination of this concept for Mastodon Mesa is the role this very same technique plays in the lives of…parrots.

Parrots are a prey animal, and therefore form flocks for safety in numbers. As they spend their days ranging over miles of thick forest seeking food, they have developed “contact calls,” in which one bird will make a characteristic sound, such as a complex whistle, which is given a particular response by either all who can hear it, or a specific addressee.

These sophisticated, proto-linguistic behaviors are complete with regional dialects and variations between individuals – all for reassurance that even when other parrots are out of eyesight, the bird is not alone, he or she is still a part of a warm, close flock.

Underneath the exponential increase in complexity, how much of human communication – the production of art included – is exactly the same?

The Calls: Leonard Nimoy

The calls have been selected from among the body of work of Leonard Nimoy as a photographer. Though many of the show’s participants, and likely, audience, are very familiar with Nimoy as an actor, he has maintained a less widely known lifelong artistic practice.

In the context of this show, it is particularly intriguing to perceptually liberate the voice of Nimoy from the familiarity of performances embedded in the assembly-line process of popular culture, and to instead have the chance to examine these photos as wordless “calls” of unadulterated communication from the individual artist.

The Responses

The responses will be drawn from emerging young artists local to Los Angeles.
Curated by: Mya Stark & Suki-Rose Otter

Call and Response: Leonard Nimoy from Mya Stark on Vimeo.


Call and Response I: Leonard Nimoy
Young artists respond to Leonard Nimoy's artwork

why is there art, or indeed any form of communication? no one involved in this Mastodon Mesa art show claims to know.

what we do know: why there are art shows. or at least why there's this one: for curators, audiences and artists to think about an interesting idea together in a loose, unrestrained way that leads to a stimulating experience.

what's the idea: well, there's something in music called "call and response" -- one participant sings or plays a line, and another participant or chorus sing or play something imitating or based on it.

and, there's a parrot behavior called "contact calls" -- parrots are very social creatures, they flock together for safety because they are prey animals -- yet they have to spread out to search for food.

these sophisticated, proto-linguistic calls are complete with regional dialects and variations between individuals all for reassurance that even when other parrots are out of eyesight, the bird is not alone, he or she is still a part of a warm, close flock.

the structure for the show is: with these thoughts in mind, to take a sampling of the body of work of one artist, and utilize it as "calls" for responses by a group of other, wildly eclectic individuals with varying creative practices, from painting to neuroscience.

what's Spock got to do with it: while best known to many of us as an actor, Leonard Nimoy is a respected art photographer too, and he and his gallery, were open-minded and generous enough to provide the "calls" for the following artists:

Ivory Lee Carlson Megan May Daalder Suki-Rose Otter Steven Andrew Garcia Zena Grey Lisa Katnic Sage Keeler Lola Loshkey Luke McGowan James Merson, Kevin Blechdom & William Hutson Adam Villacin Dorian Wood

Works so far include: a human antenna who will be receiving radio signals with his body, a performance artist dressed as a giant tomato, "finger whiskers," and a wall of video skin.

what have you got to do with it: you are curious and playful enough to wish for silly, thoughtful things like this to be born.

who are we? Mastodon Mesa is a non-profit community-run collective, located in the PDC as part of the Design Loves Art program.




Spirit in the Flesh (2009)

Mr. Nimoy's Shekhina was first made into a dance piece by Elisa Monte in 2004 and later film shown as part of the performance in 2009 by "cinedance pioneer" Amy Greenfield. (more/close)


It all started back in 2002, when Nimoy published a book of photographs called Shekhina, a collection of black-and-white nudes based on the Kabbalistic belief in a female manifestation of God. As it turns out, the former Mr. Spock has quite a knack for photography — a lifelong pursuit he returned to with renewed zeal just a few years ago. (Of the versatile Nimoy’s many artistic endeavors beyond the realm of film and TV, this one seems to be the most successful; if you require proof, check out one of his early music videos.)

Elisa Monte was the first choreographer to find inspiration in Nimoy’s photos. Her dance piece Shekhina, based on his book, premiered in 2004. New York audiences will get another chance to see Nimoy’s work through a dance maker’s eyes this weekend, when cinedance pioneer Amy Greenfield premieres Spirit in the Flesh at — no kidding — the Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater at Symphony Space.

Spirit in the Flesh will share a program with [Amy] Greenfield’s Club Midnight, a series of shorts about exotic dancers and strippers that, like Nimoy’s photos, insist that spirituality and sensuality are not mutually exclusive. “I just felt that his photos had so much to do with my films,” Greenfield told us. “It was the first thing that really related to my work. It continues to be a revelation.”

For Spirit in the Flesh, Greenfield combined Nimoy’s photos with live dance, music and spoken text from his book. “I soon realized that you can’t just stick photos on a screen,” she said, explaining that she used advanced video editing technology to create movement in the photographs. “It’s taking the photographs and the words from the book and bringing them to life through photo cinema. The dancers are wearing white material so you see the photographs on them, and the photos change as the dancers move.”

Greenfield told us that doing the project did not involve hanging out with Mr. Spock, though he gladly provided permission to use his photos. “I think he’s very happy to have me do it and not bother him,” she said. “He’s getting progress reports.”

Source: Flavorwire.

Greenfield, who obviously never had watched Star Trek, recorded her reaction to the J.J. Abrams movie premiering the same year in her blog:

Leonard Nimoy in Star Trek

It was very moving to see Leonard Nimoy in Star Trek. Until then I couldn’t associate the man who made the photographs for Spirit In The Flesh with Spock. Now I can. His voice was laden with his deep commitment and identification with the deepest meaning of Star Trek. Perhaps it is: putting us in direct contact with the cosmos, and through this encounter putting us in relationship to each other and to encountering the unkown in ourselves. He is the still center in the wild, careening film. The heartbeat behind the scenes.

One of the amazing things about Kabbalah is placing human life in relation to the cosmos. The Shekhina is the link between cosmos, the animation, the spirit of our world and the residing of spirit within us. The Shekhina is the healing power in the world.I felt that in making Spirit In The Flesh and felt it in Leonard’s words and in his face. Spock was no longer Spock the first officer but the Wise Old Man with the healing power of unity within him, uniting future and past, uniting planets, uniting the two main characters by uniting feeling with logic.

The Vulcan greeting is the sign for the Hebrew letter, the “Shin”, which is the first letter of the word “Shekhina”. It goes back to Leonard’s childhood in Brooklyn - in the Synagogue when the priests, the Kohanin, would call the Shekhina to enter the temple. Nimoy relates how his father told him no one could look as the light from the Shekhina was too powerful to behold. But he looked and saw the Kohanin with their arms outsetreched, in ecstacy, their hands in rhe sign of the Shin. So he chose that sign as the Vulcan greeting.

In some of Nimoy’s Shekhina photographs, the women have the Shin written on them, sometimes like tatoo, sometimes the letter printed as if on their palm reaching out to us, sometimes floating in space above them. A sign of power, of magic, or a brand of yhe sacred upon the body? Uniting the female body with divinity.

At the end of Spirit in The Flesh I have one of the dancers, Andrea Beeman, standing covered with a black shawl, making herself the middle prong of the “Shin” Vulcan greeting, then she spins, with the real cosmos as see by the Hubble telescope on the film screen behind her and embedded in the stars, one of Nimoy’s photographs, a star-women, looking down in blessing. the worlds united - going where no woman has gone before.

In Star Trek Nimoy seemed a messenger from a timeless realm beyond. The future beyond death. Or reincarnation? Certainly a visitation of blessing for us. For us to feel. A most un-Spock-like wish. And he isn’t an alien destructive creature form beyond, but a visitation of ourselves from beyond putting us in contact with ourselves beyond ourselves.

She also comments on the gendered aspects of the Shekhina that nowadays are only/mostly associated with socially appoved female traits like caring and nurturing. But, she asks, if the Shekhina is "the energy of immanent creation" wouldn't we all be part of that energy and wouldn't there also be a different, darker side to it?

The dark side of Spirit In The Flesh

While theme, the subject if you will, of the film, the Shekhina, as Female, divine source of creation and energy – – of motion, on earth in us, around us, is usually only thought of now (in Kabbalah in US) as “sweetness and light” – comfort,protection, other female associated virtues, that’s so very far from the whole picture. It’s the watered down version. Here is Vittoria Maniglio in a rehearsal photo shoot (photo by Robert Haller) with Leonard Nimoy photo in background – like the photo is the Shekhina in her aspect as the mother of Lilith, and Vittoria is channeling Lilith, which Vittoria really identifies with by the way.


The great Kabbaliastic scholar, Gershom Scholem, who links (though also distinguishes) the Shekhina to the Hindu Shakti and Kali (as he does with the ancient Mother Goddesses, supernal and chthonian. Gershom Scholem (whom I got into through the Canadian avant-garde filmmaker, Bruce Elder) says how the Zohar , the sacred book of Kabbalah, recognizes this – the darkness we must sometimes go into to find another depth to reach another level . Shekhina is both the protection and light and ‘duende’ the dark energy. And I even feel that energy working on this film. Sometimes it’s like flying. And sometimes, like now, it seems to be frighteningly dangerous. I now understand when Leonard Nimoy asks in his book “Am I entering dangerous territory?”

In the next excerpt she dwells some more on the dual nature of the Shekhina and the twists of assigned gender.

the dance of spirit in the flesh Tasha Taylor and John Zorn

Today I worked on the section of “Spirit In The Flesh” with Tasha which comes from the words from Leonard’s Shekhina book, a poem by Norma Farber which starts “Demon of tenderness, Shekhina accessible…” which traces her descent. Like most of the other section it is to amazing John Zorn Masada string music. How his music gives expression to Leonard’s Shekhina photographs and our Shekhina dance. His music is an inspiration, as is the rich voice/music of Zohara, and the mystery of “Spirit Transform Me” by “Oren and z’ev.

I learn more about the Shekhina, from the great 20th century philosopher/scholar of Kabbalah, Gershom Sholem. There are two Sehkhinas in Kabbalism: the one which is ‘”above”, is the active creative flow of the universe – a female creativity. The one “below” is in creation itself. our world. The spirit with us. Dwelling. Both come from wisdom, is associated with wisdom (usually a male attribute?).

In an add looking for interns for the film she concisely summs up what it's all about.

The project, Spirit In The Flesh, transforms the photography series, Shekhina, by Star Trek star – turned – photographer, Leonard Nimoy, into a film joining performance, words, music (by downtown music star, John Zorn) with Nimoy’s photographs to bring to the screen a personification of Shekhina – in Kabbalah, the invisible female divine spirit which is the animating force in ourselves and our world. The film, like the photographs, takes as its aim to create, “The photographic image of the invisible” (Nimoy). The film will transform a multimedia performance presented in Manhattan in 2009.

Included in her blog is a scan of an AM New York article entitled "Finding a muse in Mr. Spock." An excerpt of the film, stills and more information about it are available on