Spencer Tunick Post Instalation Get Together

I went to the Spencer Tunick Post Installation Get Together this evening. I expected it to be some sort of event, but it was just an informal get together. Many people were talking to each other about their experiences of the photo shoots. Everyone was very positive. I wonder if I have been too harsh.

One woman told me about another shoot yesterday in a car park. It was for women only and involved some foam. That raised an interesting question in my mind. If Tunick's thesis is that nudity need not be indecent, it can be art, then why segregate men and women. If nudity is asexual, why are so many of his photographs sex-specific? I learned a valuable lesson from that woman, however. She was over the moon to have been involved. If she was happy, why should I be offended on her behalf? This put me in mind of the naked leprechauns, and I realised that I have no right to be offended on their behalf either. She asked me if I would do it all again given the chance. That was a useful question. I thought about it for a bit and said I would decide after I saw the pictures. If they were good, then I would.

Although the event was from 6-8, it was 7 before Spencer arrived. He spoke very briefly and thanked everyone for taking part. He said he looked forward to us seeing the work in a proper context and not just in newspapers. Many people had newspapers. Of course the newspapers showed only pictures taking by press photographers documenting the process. The finished product is, as far as we know, still in Spencer Tunick's hotel room waiting to be processed. Some news photographers used zoom lenses to take pictures that clearly identified participants. Their private parts were covered up by black bars or fig leaves added in photoshop. I was disappointed by these pictures. If the picture editors were so concerned about modesty why didn't they just crop the images above the participants' wastes. Are knees that interesting? Of course their intent was to make spectacles of them. Some women's breast and faces were clearly visible in detail. If I had turned up to be part of an art work, and was unwilling turned in to a page three girl, I'd be very annoyed. But like I say, it's not my place to be offended on behalf of other people.

While complaining about Tunick's view of Irish people I had fallen in to the same trap as many others. It is about the product and not the process. It is impossible to judge Tunick's work until I see the finished product. The artwork will be good or not good. It will stand or fall all by itself. How it came to be is not the point. Most importantly it will be not or not good, irrespective of author's intent. EVEN IF Spencer Tunick sees Irish people only as leprechauns, the work will still be good or not good. I should reserve judgement until then.


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