For the past 20 years since I have known Spencer Tunick I have witnessed his art evolve from the streets of New York, across America and to major cities of the world. What started out as individual photographic portraits of nudes in public environments has grown to mass installations involving thousands of active participants. Through his art, Spencer has championed many important causes; from the First Amendment with the historic Court Ruling protecting his installations as art, to Global Warming (Greenpeace – Switzerland & France) and most recently Gay Rights (Sydney Australia). After touching so many people and places around the world, I have embarked on a personal mission to bring Spencer Tunick to Israel.
The installation will take place at the Dead Sea - the lowest place on earth and one of the most naturally picturesque spots on our planet. It is a body of water that unites 3 different people – Israelis, Jordanians, and Palestinians. Being a sea that is literally dead, nothing can live nor grow in it. Sadly, it is disappearing. The water level and shore line has been diminishing every year. By bringing Spencer Tunick to the Dead Sea I am hoping to bring back life – showcasing the importance of water in this region and creating art that is a celebration of humanity that brings world attention to the disappearing Dead Sea.
For the past few years I have been gearing up for this project and working with Spencer. My first challenge was to see if the people of Israel were ready to get naked for art. To my surprise the overwhelming answer was yes. A group of 5 University students started a grassroots campaign to enlist local participation and thousands have since volunteered. My second challenge, acquiring financial support from local government, institutions, and sponsors. Due to the nature of this art in this region of the world– this has proven to be the most challenging. After years of great effort and consulting with Spencer, I have decided to start a Kickstarter campaign to finally bring this project or, "Sea" to life in 2011.
I would like to reach out to all of the fans of Spencer Tunick and the body in art – whether you have participated in his work or have followed in the past. Please look through our promotional video and links below and pledge your support – all funds will go directly to the artist to support this project. Of course you do not have to participate in the Dead Sea installation to contribute. Please buy some cards and/or artworks & please help spread the word!
Ari Fruchter - Tel Aviv: I am managing the Kickstarter campaign for Spencer, producing the installation, as well fulfilling all the pledges.
Last and not least a supporting message from Spencer Tunick: “I have been collaborating with Ari Fruchter for the past few years as he has undertaken the difficult mission to curate and produce an installation of my art in Israel. This is a project that is very special to me, one that I have dreamed of since my early days as an artist. We look forward to your support and to exposing a part of Israel that has not been seen before and at the same time bringing attention to the diminishing waters of the Dead Sea”. Spencer Tunick
IMPORTANT INFO: People who contribute to the Kickstarter campaign will be the first to be notified on how to participate in the Dead Sea installation, once the official website for gathering participants is launched.
Artist Spencer Tunick has been documenting the live nude figure in public, with photography and video, since 1992. Since 1994 he has organized over 75 temporary site-specific installations in the United States and abroad. Tunick's installations encompass dozens, hundreds or thousands of volunteers; and his photographs are records of these events. The individuals en masse, without their clothing, grouped together metamorphose into a new shape. The bodies extend into and upon the landscape like a substance. These grouped masses which do not underscore sexuality become abstractions that challenge or reconfigure one's views of nudity and privacy. The work also refers to the complex issue of presenting art in permanent or temporary public spaces.
At each installation Spencer documents the live art event with a series of photographs and video. The resulting artworks are limited edition framed photographs and a video that is often projected alongside the photographs when exhibited. The live installation itself combines elements of performance art, sculpture and land art. The volunteers participating become the medium and temporary performance artists in their own right. This collaboration of making artwork with the general public is very rare in the art world and continues to open up many boundaries.
Spencer's larger scale installations in recent years have been predominantly commissioned by contemporary art institutions and biennales.
Museum and Public Collections:
Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Buffalo, New York. USA.
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. Gateshead, United Kingdom.
Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland, Ohio. USA.
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas Sofía Imber (MACCSI). Caracas, Venezuela.
Museo Universitario de Ciencias y Arte/Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (MUCA/UNAM Campus). Mexico City, Mexico.
Museum Kunst Palast. Duesseldorf, Germany.
National Museum of Contemporary Art. Athens, Greece.
The Dakis Joannou Collection. Athens, Greece.
The Jumex Collection. Mexico City, Mexico.
The Rudin Family Collection. New York, New York.
The Saatchi Collection. London, United Kingdom.
Special thanks to Udo David Jansen for the video and to MK12 / Tactical Design And Research Bureau & Shaun Hamontree for the titles