Munich, 25 June 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA).
On Saturday 23 June 2012, 1,700 inhabitants of Munich posed in the nude for artist Spencer Tunick in the centre of the German town.
American artist Spencer Tunick is famous for his collective nudes, group photographs gathering hundreds or even thousands of entirely nude people often taken in tourist places of interest or during major cultural events, such as the International Festival of Street Theatre of Aurillac in 2010. In Sydney, he asked 5,000 people to pose in the nude in front of the opera to appeal to liberty and equality within the Australian society. With an action involving 600 naked people at the Aletsch Glacier, he wanted to attract attention on global warming. According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper on 23 June, his message in Munich was to put art at the heart of the public space.
From 3am, the participants gathered at the town centre of Munich to daub themselves in red and gold. Contrary to the expectations, the participants felt at ease. Wolfgang Ranft, journalist of the Bild German newspaper, who himself participated in the event, reported in the newspaper on 24 June “at 4.30am, we got naked and daubed ourselves in paint. Surprise: this is not awkward at all.” Only the temperature of thirteen degrees made the participants shiver.
Shortly after the sunrise, Spence Tunick took his first photographs. The event took place in four different places, the participants recreating elements taken from The Ring of the Nibelung by Richard Wagner. The main pattern was a large circle in front of the Bayerische Staatsoper (national opera of Bavaria). On the Ludwigstraße, one of the town’s main streets, about a hundred bodies formed a huge flame, symbolizing hell in Wagner’s piece.
It was Nikolaus Bachler, the opera’s manager, who had commissioned the event when the opera festival opened in Munich. According to Süddeutsche Zeitung, Bachler seems to enjoy new forms of art. In 2011, he had organised a flashmob in the opera. The event in Munich, for which 2,500 habitants had initially volunteered, was Spencer Tunick’s first large-scale project in Germany.
From 30 June 2012 onwards, the national theatre will be displaying a four-minute video of the photography session. According to the Zeit weekly magazine, the artist’s next events are scheduled in Berlin, Scandinavia and Italy.