Anarchy Nudity in the UK

Possibly v mildly NSFW.

The city of Kingston upon Hull, usually just called “Hull,” has been selected as the 2017 UK City of Culture.  Also in 2017, Hull’s Ferens Art Gallery will be hosting The Turner Prize, the (for now) United Kingdom’s most publicised art award.  The annual award is presented to a British visual artist under 50, and, although its sponsors would not agree, The Turner Prize’s fame derives from the fact that many of its nominees and winners are ridiculous, deranged, or both.

Some examples, from WiKipedia’s v funny history of the Turner Award:

“2001  —  Jacqueline Crofton threw eggs in protest at winner Martin Creed’s entry….winner Martin Creed’s installation Work No. 227: the lights going on and off consisting of an empty room whose lighting periodically came on and went off.

“2003  —  Jake and Dinos Chapman caused press attention for a sculpture, Death, that appeared to be two cheap plastic blow-up sex dolls with a dildo.

“2005  — A great deal was made in the press about the winning entry by Simon Starling, which was a shed that he had converted into a boat, sailed down the River Rhine and turned back into a shed again.

“2007  —  The winner of the £25,000 Prize was Mark Wallinger.  His display at the Turner Prize show was Sleeper, a film of him dressed in a bear costume wandering around an empty museum….”

You get the picture.

Anyhow, to mark the city’s celebration next year as the UK City of Culture, the above mentioned Ferens Art Gallery commissioned American photographer Spencer Tunick, whose medium is creating installations using dozens, hundreds, and occasionally thousands of nude people, and taking pictures of them en masse.

There is absolutely nothing erotic about his installations.  They have a sort of innocence, despite the transgressive public nakedness.  All the participants are volunteers.  For the Hull installation, the 3,200 people involved came from 20 countries.  One of the Hull participants, 80-year-old Stephane Janssen from the USA, has posed 20 previous times, his first being at the age of 64.

Hull is a port city, and Tunick’s installation was called “Sea of Hull.”

“Wearing nothing but four shades of blue body paint in celebration of the city’s rich maritime heritage and connections, people braved the weather to pose nude for a series of site specific installations stages across some of Hull’s best-known historic locations:  from the former Queens Dock, now a city centre park, to the architecturally spectacular Guildhall and the award-winning Scale Lane swing bridge over the River Hull.”
—from the Hull City Council web site

The event took place on Saturday, 7 July.  Here’s what it looked like, according to pictures found on the Net:

Somewhere, Tobias Fünke who is both a Never-Nude and hopes to join the Blue Man Group, is terribly confused right now.


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