Item description for Perfect Intimacy by Lili Almog & Mark Gisbourne...
Over the last two years, Lili Almog has made extensive visits to nuns in three different Carmelite monasteries--one in Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel, where the order was founded and assumed its name in the year 1200; the first Carmelite monastery in the United States, in Port Tobacco, MD; and one located at the birthplace of Jesus, Bethlehem, Palestine. The result of this work, "Perfect Intimacy," is an experience of the cloistered world these nuns live in, and a documentation of their state of mind, relationship with God, and spiritual identity. It is a continuation of Almog's ongoing attempt to explore women and their private spaces. Almog's empathetic and poignant studies capture the individuality of her subjects, their enduring dignity, and their sense of self-worth--which belies the collective conformity of monastic life. The economy of style in Almog's photographic composition, a limited color palette, and an emphasis on just a few pictorial components correspond aptly with the chaste and austere way of life in the monastery. Almog's portraits achieve an emblematic quality, reverberating with and alluding to the intensity found in abundance in religious iconography. "Perfect Intimacy" offers an unfettered and authentic introduction to a group of women destined to remain anonymous in this peculiar cloistered world.
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Lili Almog has exhibited her work internationally for over ten years. She has had solo shows at such venues as Ffotogallery, UK; the Prague House of Photography, Czech Republic; Galleri Image, Denmark; The Center for Photography at Woodstock, New York; and has been included in many group shows. Almog's photographs have appeared in "New York, Fotograf, The Miami Herald, The Boston Globe, Vogue Australia, " and several books. They are included in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, UK; Norton Museum of Art, Florida; Musee de la Photographie, Belgium; and the Herzliya Museum of Art, Israel. British writer and art historian Dr. Mark Gisbourne is the former international vice president of the "International Association of Art Critics (AICA)." He has taught at universities throughout England, including the Courtauld Institute of Art, The Slade School of Fine Art, and the Sotheby's Institute. Gisbourne's writing has been included in publications by institutions such as the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; and the Bibliotheque nationale de France, Paris. He has also written for magazines and newspapers, including "The Independent, The Art Newspaper, Artforum, " and "Art in America."
Reviews - What do customers think about Perfect Intimacy?
When Less is Much More Apr 11, 2007
This book is a total surprise. As "simple" and modest as is the life of nuns, so are Lili Almog's photographs - both embodying attributes of the eminent and the infinite. This is an exquisite photographic exploration of the less common feminine, which shows that deep inside every-woman, nests a secret desire to abandon the self into greatness. Silent yet clearly thought provoking, Almog's photographs invited me to search inside for all the possible or impossible "what ifs", and for the different shapes greatness may take. Looking forward to see more of her work. :-)
Perfect simplicity Jan 13, 2007
This is a lovely book of photography. Lili Almog takes us inside the sometimes mysterious world of contemplative nuns with photos of the sisters and their convents. Reflecting the quiet of her subjects, Almog provides little prose or explanation; the pictures alone allow us a glimpse of the simplicity that leaves space for God to enter in. The book is neither stark nor romantic in its view of contemplative life, and the photos are works of art.
Disappointed Dec 31, 2006
I've always had a fondness for photgraphy books about monks and nuns and sisters which continues even after 16 of religious life. However, this book was a big disappointment and the general reaction of the sisters in my community was the same. The photos do not in the least convey the "soul" of cloistered, contemplative life. The poses are stark and stiff and remind me of passport photos! Except for a few, almost none of the photos convey the dynamic relationship of the nuns among themselves or with God. I know that was not Lili Almog intentions because she writes enthusiastically about her experience with these Carmelite Nuns however the results are a disappointment.
Intense, Deep and Smartly satisfying Aug 3, 2006
Photographer Lili Almog truly impresses with this volume: beautiful photographs, great compositions, enlightening observations... Itotally enjoyed every page, and highly recommend it to all. Brava!!
stunning Jun 1, 2006
I picked this book up at the book store just to thumb through it. I shortly sat down and slowly went through these stunning photographs. Almog has captured a sense of serenity and simplicity in these photographs. They are also thoughtprovoking, revealing many aspects of convent life. The quotes scattered throughout are also lovely and interesting.
I did not buy it, but have put it on my wishlist. This book is an inspiration to consider life and God, and I sense that the pictures would become familiar but never lose their power.