Video Chat Nudes Wanted For Worldwide Art
Spencer Tunick is well-known for his nude art installations that can feature thousands of participants, but the coronavirus has made the artist think differently.
Unable to put together a large scale work like he normally would, U.S.-based Tunick is calling on brave participants to bare all for an online artwork titled ‘Stay Apart Together’.
During a time when everyone is communicating via video chats, he decided to invite people all over the world to help create a naked mosaic to highlight "human connection in the virtual world".
“This project is different because I’m connecting people on a ‘platonic intimate’ level,” he told 10 daily.
“It allows these people, quarantined in their homes … they’re not going to the supermarket, outdoor times limited, it’s for them, I feel, therapeutic.”
Up to 100 volunteers will be directed to pose online as the artist composes an image of different nude bodies in their own personal space.
The project is an opportunity for strangers to communally work together via an online chat room.
But not all the participants are strangers.
“Two participants are in opposite countries ... and are in a relationship,” Tunick added.
Before Tunick had the project to focus on, he said he had been “incredibly depressed” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tunick lives in New York and has a family member recovering from the virus who lives three blocks away.
“I’d wake up thinking I’d do everything, clean, go through negatives … and I didn’t do anything, by that time the day had gone into the afternoon,” he said.
“I just spent the day on google for a vaccine or a cure, I was just in shock.”
Australians are among the first to be offered a spot in the artist's creation and anybody selected for the work will also feature in an Australian-only canvas.
Tunick has worked in Australia before, using 5,500 nude participants for a photoshoot in front of the Sydney Opera House in 2010 for Mardi Gras.
More recently in 2018 he photographed 550 people in Melbourne’s Chapel Street precinct.
“I think there’s an experience from doing nude art, the difference between porn and art in Australia is respected,” he said.
“And as the phrase goes, people just really want to get their kit off.”
Melbourne nurse Elane Johnson, 36, was in that picture.
She described the project as an opportunity to be part of something bigger.
"I feel like people are feeling scared and more disconnected than ever," she said.
"Life is too short to stress about the naked body ... especially when your job is swabbing COVID patients!"
Despite the unique request from Tunick for people to remove their clothes online, he said it is easier to communicate with his subjects.
Unlike when Tunick is working with thousands of people at a time, this method of photography is more intimate considering he and his subjects can be on opposite sides of the world.
“I feel that communication is a little bit easier, I can use my mouse to move over the screen and names pops up,” Tunick said.
“If I need them to move something or something isn’t quite right, I can address them by their name.”
Anyone over the age of 18 can be included in the project and the artwork will be uploaded to Tunick’s Instagram page.
If you'd like to apply email StayApartTogetherAustralia@gmail.com.