Nude exhibition sheds more than light on climate change

Artist Spencer Tunick photographed hundreds of naked participants next to the Dead Sea as part of an installation aimed at climate change.

American photographer Spencer Tunick, rallied roughly 300 male and female volunteers to participate in the work which saw them strip bare and cover themselves in white paint.

The work aims to draw attention to the impact of climate change on the Dead Sea, which has been receding in recent decades.

Image: ABC

Created in partnership with the Israeli tourism ministry, the work hopes to also promote tourism to the region after COVID-19 and the violent conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians.

On his work, Tunick said:

“My visit to Israel was an experience for me and I am always happy to return here and photograph in the only country in the Middle East that allows art such as this,”

In 2007 Tunick gathered 600 similarly bare-bottomed people next to the Aletsch glacier in Switzerland. A collaboration with Greenpeace, the work was designed to draw attention to global warming and the melting glaciers as a result of man-made climate disturbance.

Image: Spencer Tunick

Tunick says his use of naked bodies helps to emphasise the vulnerability of our natural habitat and our relationship towards it with the installation itself designed to be of minimal impact to the surrounding environment.

‘I want my images to go more than skin-deep. I want the viewers to feel the vulnerability of their existence and how it relates closely to the sensitivity of the world’s glaciers,’ he said.

His work has made it to Australian shores several times.

In 2010 a massive crowd of 5,000 bare-bums lay across the steps of the Sydney Opera House for a work titled Mardi Gras: The Base. It referred to the sameness of individuals, regardless of their sexual preferences.

“Gay men and women lay naked next to their straight neighbors and this delivered a very strong message to the world that Australians embrace a free and equal society,” Mr Tunick said.

Image: BBC