Credit: Spencer Tunick
Mass nude photo shoot going ahead after supermarket u-turn
Hundreds of naked people are set to gather on a chilly rooftop in Australia in July after a supermarket dropped its objections to a mass nude photo shoot by renowned New York artist Spencer Tunick.
Woolworths had refused permission due to fears that a photo shoot in its rooftop car park would disrupt its busy Saturday morning trade, but gave the go-ahead after organizers changed the date.
"We're very supportive of the Provocaré Festival of the Arts and the Chapel Street community in which we operate," a Woolworths spokesperson said, adding that the festival organizers' flexibility with timing convinced the supermarket to allow the photoshoot to go ahead.
Now the shoot will take place for an hour on Monday morning, during a "traditionally slow trading period," Woolworths said.
The news came as a relief to Tunick, who told the Guardian he was unable to find an alternative location nearby, after searching for three days.
"Thank goodness the Woolworths permission hurdle is behind me. I'm very thankful for them changing their minds," Tunick told CNN in an email.
"In a day where more and more corporations are aligning themselves with conservative ideals, it's refreshing and important that some are understanding that the nude in art has an important place in an open and free society, pushing body positive ideas and community."
John Lotton, the Executive Chairman of the Provocare Festival of the Arts, said the group appreciated the company's decision to let the project go ahead and would work to minimize disruption.
"We will ensure that suitable security is in place during the short period of the installation and will minimize any potential inconvenience to customers," Lotton said in a statement. Nude volunteers will also be encouraged to travel to shoot by public transport to reduce traffic, he added.
Tunick has staged numerous large-scale nude shoots around the world, including one where he directed hundreds of people to pose in the buff on the steps of the Sydney Opera House in 2010 (shown above).
Little has been revealed about his latest installation, entitled "Return of the Nude." However, participants of all ages, race, gender, ability and body shape are encouraged to take part.
The installation will take place "rain or shine" from July 7-10 in Melbourne, Australia. Volunteers will receive instructions two weeks leading up to the installation. Around 11,000 people have already signed up in hope of being chosen.