Embody is based on Lone Mørch’s intimate photographic encounters with hundreds of Danish and American women from 17 to 95. In her quest for a woman's complicated truth, she captures the startling interplay between the seer and the seen, as they encounter the light and shadow in their bodies, minds and psyches. In photos and prose, Embody lets you be voyeur to women's private thoughts and motives as they seek the freedom to see and to be seen.
In a world where the female body is still sold, shamed and legislated over, and women have to work hard to (re-)discover and connect to their bodies, to their inner selves, Lone lets a woman restore her dignity and retain a bit of her feminine mystery.
Most photography of women has been dominated by the male gaze; in this book women look at themselves. Phil Cousineau calls the book "... a healing vision for a wounded world."
Reviews & Endorsements
In Embody Danish writer and photographer, Lone Mørch, captures the startling interplay of light and shadow in women's bodies, both inside and out, with artistry and intimacy. We are invited into each photo session, to see through Lone's eyes, which hold a European sensibility and a keen quest for a woman's truth. Lone encourages in the women a natural state of ease, so that the desire to be perfect loosens its grip. But she goes deeper, to gently slip underneath layers of cultural and personal coverings, to invite these women to experience a lifting of crushing expectations, an evaporation of anxiety, and to move beyond this to true liberation. One woman for the first time imagines herself with a face, another moves about the studio discovering the joy of being in a body, knowing that it is temporary, aging, imperfect in so many ways. This book brings us to the space between women's illusions of imperfections and the startling reality of their beauty, and as their rifts are healed, something unexpected happens: We find ourselves challenged to extend our own lives beyond the awkward split-second of perfection, to question our own myths, see ourselves in a different light, and—though this is a rare occurrence while reading a book—to be transformed ourselves. – Erin Byrne, author, screen writer, teacher.
Embody is a masterful exploration into the vulnerability and power of women and its author, Lone Morch. Embody is also oddly about being ravishing, as well as being ravished by our own positive and negative relationship to our bodies. Though, most striking, is how the book unfolds to give us a new perspective on women and their nobel selves: in the end what makes us noble is how we move through the destruction of being ravished into a new chapter of our lives (in some cases through a relationship with Morch's lens). Be as fearless as the women and the author, and enter this book ready for your heart to open while your eyes pop - not from lust, but from the truth." – Sarah Kornfeld, author
What a wonderful project. Strong photos that shows the female body in ways we rarely see and leave us with a lot of emotions. When the shamefulness of the normal is completely gone, the body is so beautiful and lovely, and it can begin to sense and be sensed in return. Wow. – Camilla Stockmann, journalist Politiken
Embody pulls back the curtain on women who are contemplating their own nudity, skin and beauty, on their own terms. Embody is about women's own freedom but also the extraordinary vision of the photographer who grants them the freedom to be viewed as they see fit. Veil by veil, woman by woman, image by image, page by page, Lone Mørch’s images reveal a healing vision for a wounded world, a gallery of women who feel safe enough to be at home in their own skin, proving that we long to see and be seen. –Phil Cousineau, author and filmmaker
Lone is not just a photographer, she’s an artist with a big mission: she wants to liberate people from the artificial layers we hide behind. She made an extraordinary body of work with her wonderful, profound and sensual book, Embody. And she is a woman worth following: she will undoubtedly continue to surprise us, show us, remind us and love us with her camera, her words, her energy and wisdom. I had the privilege to work with her, and I’m only beginning to understand the impact a creative playdate with her has. My warmest recommendations. ~ Kirsten Stendevad author, speaker and 21st century leadership mentor.
I'm overwhelmed with the rich depth and meaning in Lone's new book Embody. Her artistry, writing, eloquence, and exquisite photography seem to be coming together in a powerful expression of healing, helping and nurturing the so-called "feminine" element within all women and men. Lone's creations are dreams awakened, waking dreams, and indeed remove the veil between the visible and invisible worlds. – Grant Benson
I share my personal photos to encourage women who've been hard on themselves, violated sexually or neglected their needs in service to others, to acknowledge and relish their feminine power and inner beauty! I hope men who witness this heartfelt work of art will see the women in their lives with new sensitivity and admiration. A more accurate and healthy perspective on being feminine in our culture is essential for more harmonious relationships between men and women, in all contexts. – Jennifer M.
I found the project trailer captivatingly put together. It seems a liberating experience having full awareness of your whole being from head to toe, letting everything go, living purely in those moments around the camera clicking. Self compassion - something that’s very difficult to do these days. Perhaps it is true that it is easier to see the full picture of oneself through a photograph than through the naked eye. – Jo Hamilton, artist
Lone’s project is timely and special on so many levels. The writing is as important as the images for they both tell a story… the gift of finding oneself. –Elizabeth Opalenik, photographic artist, educator, author of Poetics.
I have to say, you've made an all around fantastic book... beautiful photos, wonderful stories, not to mention the great quality of paper and binding. I'm very impressed and happy to own one of them myself. - Bent Nielsen, a collector.
Embody is wonderful Lone! My favorite photos are p. 140-141 and p. 166-167. Beautiful! You say that this book isn't for the male eye, but your words are important for all of us. I think you've achieved more than your original goal. Love it! - Mac, Tiburon
A gorgeously shot and captivating set of photos of women of all ages and shapes and sizes - interspersed with stories of the photographer's subjects at their very core, some feeling fierce, proud, and feminine, some feeling vulnerable, unmasked, and raw. I so appreciate this book for sharing and making visible -- truly embodying -- the wildness and eternal beauty of the human spirit, as seen with empathy and creativity through Morch's camera lens. Read about her own journey as an artist, woman, friend, wife, and daughter--- a lovely bedside book. - Monica Flores
In a culture where unclothed women’s bodies are all too often sexualized, Lone has allowed the women in her work to show themselves in the most intimate way, sharing that they are complete women, not just sexual objects; these are women who are comfortable in their own skin. There is a wonderful sense of freedom and playfulness in the photos, capturing the confidence and acceptance these women have of their bodies; a sort of celebration of their femininity. I believe many women would love the opportunity to have such captivating photographs taken of themselves in the nude, and Lone’s artistry and sensitivity allows women to explore that intimate side of themselves in a very liberating and safe environment. - Staci Hyatt
I was happy to see and listen to Lone Mørch, my fellow dancer, at her book signing of Embody tonight at the Book Passage. The book (in English and Danish) explains and demonstrates her photographic art exploring the intimate dimensions of individual women’s pride, shame, strengths and sensitivities around their body images and self presentation. It is not a feminist manifesto, and the photos are not aimed at the male eye. It is exquisite art that empowers the photographic subjects in black and white. Embody. Beautiful. Thank you Lone Mørch for the gift you bring to the world. – John Maria
Dear Lone, yesterday I received your book as a gift from my boyfriend, who's proving himself better at knowing my needs than I initially thought. Because, your book is very, very beautiful. I love your focus on sensuality and that you insist, that intimacy if for every woman. Thank you for that. I also love the way you work with contrasts throughout - for instance between the raw and the soft, the search for connection in some women's eyes and the inner focus in others, desire and innocence, black and white, the unpolished surroundings and the beautiful bodies. In my own research on body ideals and self-perception amongst Danish women (and their men) I've found quite a lot of visual material on the bodily changes a woman goes through after childbirth. What particularly touches me about your book is the playful, sensual but also confrontational role you get to play in the women's lives, it's so liberation. A transformation the women could never mentally achieve, but only through experience. The paradox is that the photographic staging so often criticized for creating false self-images, in this case does the exact opposite. Finally, it's such a lush book - titillating, beautiful, sensual, tactile - and I love the feel the green fabric cover. Warm regards, Christine Pinds
A Few Reviews IN DANISH
Også for mænd - Af Bo Heimann
Som heteroseksuel mand er der noget selvfølgeligt nærende, inspirerende og pirrende ved at se på kvinder. Påklædte kvinder, nøgne kvinder og kvinder delvist i skygger, bag slør, ansigtsløse kvinder, kvinders ankler og hænder, kvinders øjne…det kvindelige er dragende. Og alt dét får man i Mørchs bog. Men det er tydeligt, at Mørchs bog er af en kvinde, med kvinder og i første omgang for kvinder – der er her et projekt, der vil tage den kvindelige krop og dens dragende sensualitet tilbage; tage ejerskab; vise kvinden frem, som de ser sig selv; den er et blik ind i kvinders tankeverden, selvbilleder, hemmeligheder og historier; en nærmen sig deres drømme og længsler indefra. Det er en svær balancegang, for kan netop dé ambitioner indfries (paradokset!) med endnu en bog med (halv)nøgne kvinder? Jeg tror, jeg synes, at det lykkes. Den er billedmæssigt sensuel, sanselig, poetisk og stilfuld, og Mørchs tekster kredser om vigtige temaer og spørgsmål, der i høj grad er med til at få det til at lykkes: Hvem er rovdyr og hvem er bytte? Hvad betyder dette ar fra et kejsersnit? Hvor smukt er det uperfekte? Kan skønhed være vild og uforudsigelig? Hvilken forbindelse har den nøgne, sensuelle krop til kreativitet, nysgerrighed og kraft? Hvor subtil kan det sensuelle være – hvor bramfri? Hvor går grænserne imellem selvet, kroppen og samfundet? Hvordan er kvindens sensualitet, når den er på egen præmisser og ikke er rettet (pleasende?) imod en anden (mand)? Hvordan ser en naturlig og jordnær sensualitet ud? I første omgang for kvinder, skrev jeg. Men måske netop dérfor i høj grad for mænd, der vil blive klogere på kvinder. Så vi mænd i – endnu – højere grad ikke kun kan se på kvinder med det begærlige, men også med det kærlige blik. Meget tyder på, at det er nødvendigt – #metoo.
Tak for din insisteren på indre sanselighed!
Kære Lone Mørch, Jeg har modtaget din bog i går fra en rigtig god ven. Jeg synes din bog er meget, meget smuk. Jeg kan rigtig godt lide dit fokus på det sanselige og din insisteren på intimitet som noget, der er for alle kvinder. Tak for det! Jeg kan også godt lide det kontrastfyldte, som er gennemgående, sådan som jeg læser den - for eksempel i kontrasten mellem det rå og det blide, det relationssøgende udtryk hos nogle kvinder og indadvendtheden hos andre, lyst og uskyld, sort og hvidt, de upolerede omgivelser og de smukke kroppe. Jeg har i min forskning arbejdet med opfattelsen af kropsidealer og forståelse blandt danske, nybagte mødre (og deres mænd), og der findes en del fint fotografisk billedemateriale, som fokuserer på kroppens forandring i forbindelse med, at være blevet mor. Det der især rørte mig ved at læse og se i din bog er at det legende, sansende, og også konfronterende, som du kommer til at udgøre i kvindernes liv, er så befriende. De kunne ikke tænke sig ud af det, tror jeg. Og så er det jo paradoksalt, at den selvsamme fotografiske iscenesættelse, som kritiseres for at skabe dårlige kropsoplevelser og selvbilleder her gør præcis det modsatte. Derudover er bare en lækker bog - pirrende, smuk, sanselig, sensuel - og endda lækker at røre ved med det flaskegrønne tekstil-cover. Mange hilsner, Christina Prinds
Jeg må sige, at det er en helt igennem fantastisk bog, du har fået lavet… smukke billeder, gode historier og ikke mindst en super god kvalitet af papir og indbinding. Jeg er meget imponeret og glad for at have fået et eksemplar. - Bent Nielsen, fotobogssamler
Dyk ned i en helt ualmindelig oplevelse og rejse af sensuelle billeder og digte. Lone Mørch har igennem mange år fotograferet kvinder i USA og herhjemme, uden at det egentlig var meningen at det skulle blive til en bog. Kvinderne har haft mange forskellige årsager til at de valgte at blive fotograferet, men Lone finder deres sensuelle side i disse kunstværker. Man kan på hendes hjemmeside læse mere om baggrunden til bogen og se en video med interviews med nogle af kvinderne, som giver en ret god baggrund for hvordan bogen er opstået. Kan absolut anbefales! - Frederikke Tu
Women Talk About the Experience of Being Photographed
A behind-the-book video and glimpse into Lone Mørch's photographic explorations with women.
Music by Jo Hamilton - Deeper from the album Gown