Friday, May 11, 2007

The naked truth about Tunick

From the Grauniad (Guardian) Art & Architecture blog - The naked truth about Tunick:

Criticise a popular artist like Spencer Tunick and you're inevitably accused of snobbery, but I'll come clean - I really don't believe anyone can mistake his sensationalism for art.

Tunick has just persuaded
18,000 people to strip off in Mexico City, for the latest in a series of mass nude photo shoots around the world. Well, good for him. He's got the publicity, and the participants doubtless enjoyed themselves, maybe even found it therapeutic.

But so what? Tunick's work isn't art, and no one who actually considered it for a moment would say it was. There's no interesting "thought" underlying his work nor is it a provocative challenge to what art is. His photograph-stunts are on the same level as a wacky advertising campaign. I find it contemptible the way Tunick is applauded for something so blatantly cynical.

I think many people secretly hate art. Not so long ago, it was perfectly respectable to express that loathing, at least for modern art, but nowadays art takes such a prominent role in our culture that most people feel obliged to pay lip service to it - yet the old loathing survives under the surface..." more - go add a comment

I'd pretty much have to agree. It's Christo without the class..


Bee said...

Oh. Just as I'm about to join in for a good Tunick bashing (or should I say spanking), I notice he's got those Mexicans doing the Muslim prayer thing, here with men and women all together and all very naked. An pre-orgiastic Mecca scene. Can't say that's not interesting.

stanco said...

I thought they were pretty cool when he first started doing these quite some years ago- but I thought that they would gradually refine themselves into something other than masses of collective flesh. Instead, the masses have just gotten larger.

And with all his staging and choreographing skills, you think he would have filled in the lower right corner with another buttocks or someting...

Luis said...

I was thinking that Tim's been dredging the gutter...and just as I was about to hurl, I notice Tunick's composed his nude horde into a pyramidal (Islamo-Egyptian) form, and the peak is set against a trio (Trinity) of windows....NOOOOOO...this can't be!

It's got to be coincidence...the Master of Bad Nudes thinking? Then I read Bee's comment. Ack. Except the Muslims I've seen pray on their knees, butt up in the air, and clothed, but who knows where Bee's been.
There must be a nearby bar already open.

Reportedly, he's done nudes with just a few people in them that aren't bad, but I've never seen them (or made the effort to do so).

--- Luis

What next? Wegman??? :-)

tim atherton said...

one of the reasons the Tunick article caught my eye, is that after the recent Mexico shoot, I've heard a number of people comment along the lines that this is what they think of as "art photography"

Bee said...

Luis, if you follow the link Tim posted to the Guardian, you'll see what I was talking about. Yeah, on their knees, butt in the air, the whole thing. Now, how you link pyramids to things Islamic is beyond me. "Islamo-Egyptian"??

Luis said...

Maybe that should have been a Mayan Pyramid, except those were stepped, of course. Pyramid - Middle Eastern - Islam. You're so trapped in linear time, Bee. Geez.

I was kidding. Actually, Tunick's work brings to mind a kind of generic genocide bodies-in-pits pix.

--- Luis

Bee said...

Trapped in linear time? The 60's are over, Luis, time to tune back in!