Art has prevailed in the battle to fill a Melbourne rooftop with naked people. In the latest development surrounding Spencer Tunick's newest work, the New York artist has been given permission to hold a nude photoshoot on top of the Prahran Woolworths car park — just over a week after the store said no.
It was announced in May that Tunick would be returning to Australia in July to stage another of his famed mass nude photos, all as part of Chapel Street Precinct's Provocaré Festival of the Arts. Seventeen years after assembling 4500 naked volunteers for a snap near Federation Square as part of the 2001 Fringe Festival, the polarising artist plans to amass another contingent of naked (and pretty brave) folk for a work titled Return of the Nude
While Tunick has photographed around 5000 nude people in front of the Sydney Opera House during the 2010 Mardi Gras, snapped the public painted red and gold outside Munich's Bavarian State Opera, covered in veils in the Nevada desert and covered in blue in Hull in the UK, his initial attempt to craft his latest piece against a Melbourne skyline backdrop was knocked back by Woolworths. A petition spearheaded by the Chapel Street Precinct Association (CSPA), the festival's host organisation, in response —and due to community pressure, the store has decided to let the shoot go ahead.
A spokesperson for the supermarket giant advised, "in further discussions with the festival organisers they indicated a willingness to be flexible with dates and times to ensure the shoot could happen without inconveniencing our customers during busy weekend trading. As a result, we're now able to accommodate the request to temporarily clear the rooftop for Spencer Tunick's group shot on a Monday morning during a traditionally slow trading period."
The shoot will take place on Monday, July 9, with Tunick given an hour to complete his vision. And if you'd like to participate — anyone over the age of 18 can git their kit off and get involved — there's still time to register. Participants each get a print of the photograph and, we're sure, a big boost of body confidence.
Provocaré will take place across the Chapel Street Precinct from July 5–15, with Return of the Nude being shot over one hour on July 9.