With Star Trek XI behind him, Leonard Nimoy is concentrating on his photography projects.
Last year, Nimoy spent two sixteen-hour days shooting portraits of people who had answered his public invitation to share their hidden selves.
Of the ninety-five who were photographed, Nimoy chose twenty-five of them for an exhibit, Who Do You Think You Are, that will go on display next summer in Massachusetts.
“The idea was to invite people to reveal their secret selves, the self they wish to be or the self they hide from the world,” explained Nimoy. “There was a measure of bravery in this by everyone involved. I had no idea what to expect. Some of the people walked in with these amazing stories, stories you couldn’t anticipate or make up.”
The twenty-five images can be seen here. (Not all images are “worksafe.”) There are photos of wizards, a man who would be Superman, a gay rabbi wearing a leather vest who used the occasion to publicly announce that he was gay, a forest spirit, woman with a chainsaw expressing her unrecognized inner masculine power, a “shy whore,” boxer and a “forest spirit” whose desire was to “avoid war, strife and violence of all kinds, and be part of nature.”
The photography reflects Northampton, and Nimoy wonders how different it would have been had the submission process been different or had the shoot be done in another city. “It would be interesting to see what would happen if you solicited people, sought them out instead of making a public invitation,” said Nimoy. “It might be a difficult process, an ordeal, or it might be explosive. What would you get if you did this in a different community, such as Los Angeles? Would it be totally different? I don’t know the answers to these questions.”
And what is Nimoy’s own “secret self?” “I have no secrets left,” said Nimoy. “I revealed it all long ago.”
On Halloween night, Nimoy will be at the Santa Monica Museum of Art for a one-night exhibition of selected photographs from the project.