01
Mar
10

Mardi Gras: The Base or How I Got Naked With 5200 People

Spencer Tunick is an artist best known for his large-scale photographic works featuring thousands of naked people in famous locations.

This week is Mardi Gras, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Festival. The organisers of that event invited Tunick to come do one of his nude installations at the Sydney Opera House today.

I was one of the 5200 people that got naked.

You didn’t have to be gay to join, just willing to get up early and take off all your clothes. At 4am I parked my car at the Opera House and joined the throng. As we entered we handed in a release form and received a plastic bag. They broke us into two groups and we sat around in the cold morning air. We were waiting for people to arrive, and for daylight (it was very cloudy).

Shortly after 6am we were all instructed to get naked. No clothes, no shoes, no socks, no jewellery, no nothin’. We put all our clothes in the plastic bags and left them where we’d been sitting. It was surreal, but also completely relaxed. We’d all been joking and keeping warm together for the last 90 minutes. Everyone – young and old, fat and thin, sculpted and flabby, dark and pale – got completely buck naked.

It was a celebration.

Both groups assembled on the steps and forecourt of the Opera House. It was still early, and the area was blocked off from most of the public, though the media were a discreet distance away. Tunick yelled at us to move around, a real perfectionist. It took a long time to get into all the positions he wanted – standing, facing forwards, facing backwards, lying down, arms upstretched, even hugging the naked stranger next to you (I hugged a very nice lady whose husband, an employee of a TV station here, was in Vancouver for the Olympics) . We were freezing. But good spirits abounded. It was completely non-sexual, a giant artistic levelling.

At about 8am the steps shots were done. One of the groups – not the one I was in – went inside the Opera House for some interior shots. I had to get to work, so I dressed and drove out.

All those who took part will get a print of the forecourt photograph. It was an amazing experience, bizarre and fun and friendly and unique.

Photo from The Sydney Morning Herald. Click the image for more

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8 Responses to “Mardi Gras: The Base or How I Got Naked With 5200 People”


  1. 1 Andrew_D
    March 1, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    I….uh….never mind. Not sure what to say there.

  2. 2 the aussie
    March 2, 2010 at 4:17 am

    I see you! You stick out a mile.

  3. 3 Katie
    March 2, 2010 at 5:06 am

    I think it’s great that you participated in one of his pieces of work. I ran across his name on wordloo today and knew he must have done it again. Congrats on being a part of art!

  4. March 2, 2010 at 10:46 am

    It was such an amazing event,I cant imagine how it felt like,but it seems cool.

  5. March 2, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Beats the turn-our for the Princes Bridge one in Melbourne a couple of years back!

  6. 6 sameera
    March 9, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Please give me some pic

  7. March 9, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Please click some link


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