There are at least two surprising facts about this week’s cover image. One, it’s an overhead photograph of National, Sebonack and Shinnecock golf courses. Secondly, its photographer, Lili Almog, who incorporated her own drawing into the image, is not particularly known for taking pictures of golf courses. Rather, she is known for subjects as varied as Carmelite nuns, Chinese Muslim women and destruction of Kibbutz structures in Israel. While Almog’s images have been diverse, certain recurring themes have also evolved: the importance of landscape and the environment, women in their own private spaces, and the idea of intimacy.
Intimacy is an especially evocative concept. We surmise that Almog’s Chinese women form a close connection to material needs and the environment in order to survive. Conversely, her Carmelite nuns are absorbed in monastic seclusion; their intimacy comes from bonding with internal elements. (Almog’s photographs often show the nuns with their heads down or turned away from the camera.) Even her barren buildings, destroyed by the Carmel Fire in Israel, exist by themselves, devoid of a close union with both the land and the era that created them.