Celebrated American photographer Spencer Tunick is heading to Melbourne this July to create a series of mass nude installations at the PROVOCARÉ Festival of the Arts on Chapel Street. He's looking for hundreds of brave Melburnians of all body shapes, genders, races, abilities and ages (so long as they're over 18) willing to bare all and face the elements for a series of installations called 'Return of the Nude'.
Tunick will be arranging several hundred nude bodies in different public spaces, transforming the city and documenting the process with photography and video. There's no detail yet as to the exact locations (although each will be in the Chapel Street precinct), but the frequently asked questions section on the PROVOCARÉ website reveals that each participant will be given a tin of body make-up to apply to their bodies. And if you're worried about it being a rather nippy (pun intended) Melbourne July, the organisers are promising that the nudity required will be brief and Tunick will be working quickly once everybody is in place.
There's no payment for your participation, but if you choose to head along and get your kit off you'll be given a limited-edition print of the artwork.
Tunick said of the project: “Chapel Street reminds me of the East Village in New York, Sunset Strip in LA, and San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury, but all combined into one juggernaut ... I think people from Melbourne are a little braver because of their willingness to pose no matter the weather. I get a sense of resilience and risk taking.”
So come on, Melbourne – let's prove him right.
This is Tunick's first visit to Melbourne since 2001, when he photographed 4,500 nudes along St Kilda Road and the Yarra River. In 2010 he returned to Australia to create 'The Base', with more than 5,000 people posing on the steps of the Sydney Opera House.
Register your interest here to join the naked masses in installations between July 7 and 10.
Looking for an arts experience that's a little more modest? See our hit-list of the best art exhibitions this month.