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Artist Spencer Tunick Has Revealed the Multi-Coloured Images from Melbourne's Mass Nude Photo Shoot

Photographed on Chapel Street and in the Prahran Woolworths rooftop carpark, the ‘Return of the Nude’ installations feature 860 Melburnians.
By Sarah Ward
December 15, 2018
By Sarah Ward
December 15, 2018

Earlier this year, over a frosty July weekend, Spencer Tunick staged his latest mass nude photography work. After months of controversy, the New York artist snapped 860 naked Melburnians on Chapel Street, as well as in the rooftop car park of the Prahran Woolworths — with a brightly coloured series of images entitled Return of the Nude the end result.

If you've been wondering what the finished product looked like, Tunick has now revealed the final four photographs. The Return of the Nude installations feature participants donning pink and red sheer sheets for separate shots — and, in another, wearing a vibrant palette of body paint.

That's not all that Tunick has in store. Art fans will also be able to experience the installation via virtual reality, thanks to the release of a location-triggered VR app. Available from this weekend from the Apple and Google stores, it'll enable anyone visiting Artists Lane in Windsor — aka where some of the photos were taken — to not only feel like they're in the image, but like they're surrounded by 550 nude people covered in paint.

Explaining Return of the Nude, Tunick notes that "my work has long brought out the common themes of community, individual identity, and the challenges of making the arts an inclusive experience rather than an exclusive experience. Working within the Chapel Street Precinct provides an amazing opportunity to let the citizens of Melbourne become the artist themselves. I believe these final images have captured an extraordinary moment in the timeline of Melbourne."

The images and app come after after Tunick experienced quite the tumultuous journey in his efforts to stage the piece. First he was given permission to hold a mass nude photoshoot on top of the Prahran Woolworths car park as part of Chapel Street Precinct's Provocaré Festival of the Arts. But then the store said that it wouldn't like to participate. The supermarket then reversed its decision a week later after a petition spearheaded by the Chapel Street Precinct Association (CSPA), the festival's host organisation, gained some momentum in the community.

Return of the Nude arrives 17 years after Tunick assembled 4500 naked volunteers for a snap near Federation Square as part of the 2001 Fringe Festival. It also comes eight years after he photographed around 5000 nude people in front of the Sydney Opera House during the 2010 Mardi Gras.

Images: Return of the Nude by Spencer Tunick. 

Published on December 15, 2018 by Sarah Ward
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