An artist with keen eye for humanity: an apt description of American installation artist Spencer Tunick (1967–), who stages highly diverse human installations, exploring colour and texture in landscapes and urban centres – all created using nothing but numerous naked human bodies.
An amalgamation of human forms
Tunic’s art usually comprises two parts: one is the actual installation, which involves dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of naked volunteers arranged in public spaces according to Tunick’s artistic vision; the other is the photographs taken by Tunick to document those installations. What we see now are images, memories of these events, knowing that the vision we behold once existed for real in a real place in the world. Tunick believes that something unique happens when human bodies are brought together in large quantities – they lose their individual forms and come together in a metamorphosis that transforms them into a single, unified mass, a liquid substance that stretches across the landscape. Beautiful, uncomfortable, thought-provoking, or provocative – however the viewer responds, it is difficult to look away from the breath-taking sight of how people can, when gathered as a single mass, create a completely unique, astonishing visual effect.
Tunick’s art sometimes meets with great resistance and even legal opposition. Since starting his public human installations in 1992, he has been arrested five times while working on installations in New York. However, his works extend far beyond the borders of the United States and have taken place all over the world, including London, Sydney, Dublin, Barcelona and the Dead Sea. An installation was arranged in Herning during the 2017 Socle du Monde Biennale, and another will be arranged at this year’s biennale on September 4th 2021.
On September 4th, as part of the Socle du Monde biennale, Spencer Tunick created an incredible live installation at HEART – Museum of Contemporary Art.