Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Day of the Spencer Tunick installation

It happened this morning! Just over 1100 people came to Blarney Castle at 3am to be part of the biggest participatory artwork Ireland has ever seen. The atmosphere was exhilarating. The sense of togetherness was so strong and there was such a great rapour between Spencer and the participants. Look out for the photographs in the newspapers. They are very special. A big, big thank you to everyone who took part and to all of our volunteers who made the event run so smoothly.

5 comments:

CyberBare said...

Wow, exhilarating is exactly the word i've been using.
everyone was nervous hanging round but by the time the "kit-off" order came nobody was shy.
Great fun, everyone joking and nobody took any (much) notice of their own nudity or anyone else's after couple mins.

Thanks to all who helped organise!
Apart from the darn cold, a fantastic experience.
I expect the photos will be stunning.

HM said...

Turned up early, before three and settled down to a cold and sometimes wet wait, using the recycling plastic bag provided to fend off the “soft day”. Good buzz of voices around me, everyone was chatty and happy, the night air cool enough, but what did we expect.
A couple of announcements over the hand held tannoy, more waiting, an overview from the man himself and more waiting, an finally somewhere around 5.30 when there was light in the sky, the call to get the kit off finally came. Delighted, the crowd did so at varying speeds, but in all pretty quick. While we all walked towards the first location I was impressed by the amount of warmth in the air caused by our shared body heat, I could feel it collectively radiating and creating our own environ to keep us warm. The film March of the penguins came to mind, as well as a sort of Stanley Kubrik vision of homo-saps strolling through the trees into civilisation. Also tattoos; I know that there a pile of tattoo shops in Cork, and by the amount I saw floating on pale skins in the emerging morning light, business has indeed been brisk).
Anyway lost from my friends I made new ones and we waited to be sorted out for our first pose. I was not overly impressed with the command ST instilled, he has been doing this for a while but quite a few of his directions were landing somewhere between, silly (“the gentleman there with the tattoo could move to the right” – at least half of the field wonder if it is he that ST is addressing) - and of course, my right, your right, stage right?
But we, in time arrived at his composition, and he asked us to be serious and still for the image, which must have required a long exposure, given the available light, and Spencer was polite, encouraging and grateful for our engagement. We re-located having collected the roses, representing our red and white city, and went through the same even and regulated displacement of population to accommodate the suitable space, could the existing government of this country instill compliance to deceatralise as quietly? We held our roses as still as we could, there was some shivering going on and my toes were blue, but we held poses, and accepted to lie on the dew laden grass with suitable groans and banter, real Cork banter that makes us all giggle in the chest (another thing about this exercise is that anything that is said is mined with possible double entrend├ęs). We could see roses quivering in our shaking hands, and a crow flew over us, what a sight for crow, around a thousand bellies and all in one field, then a woman’s voice called out, a possibility that we all had in our minds, that crow might let a little offering slip…giving arise to further chuckle, not on Spencer’s agenda, but he seemed to bear with our character.

That section over, and we could return to grassy area we ha shed our clothes in, and again I was amazed at the amount of warmth that was now coming from the ground we had instilled our bodily warmth into, or was I back into the March of the penguins mode again, or were we all becoming a collective like those penguins, and who was the king?

Lady’s up to the Castle was next on the agenda, the light was certainly dramatic and promised to shine beautifully on skin, but it seemed to take a long time to devise, or construct the next shot, and I did think that there were some sublime “decisive moments” lost, however it’s not my gig, I am merely a unique, differently shaped body amongst a number of extraordinarily uniquely shaped bodies, offering our form and enjoying the experience of this slightly different and new form of formality. There was much more done, including slipping up to kiss the Blarney stone (with the assistance of the regular operative, who manages to keep you from plummeting to the ground, usually in full acceptable social and weather inclined clothing).

There is a lot more to tell, the river, the ladies only which I was not at, good co-ordination by the Midsummer Festival team and fantastic nature of the models, thank goodness it did not drizzle or rain, but we are inclement to and understanding of the weather possibilities. At about 8.30 as promised, or perhaps a little later, headed for home. A good day. I did have commitments for the day, so no sleep, and hey! thanks for the energy everyone that was there, doing it.

Darragh said...

Fair play to everyone who participated. All us in the Dublin one on Saturday would love to hear how you got on!

corkdave said...

We kicked the Dublin shoot in the proverbial behind when we compare the numbers who turned out for the two shoots. Considering our population (Dublin has five times our pop) and the fact that the Blarney shoot happened on a work day, our 1,100 nude models beats the other capital hands down. I am tempted to use a variety of aot and crude metaphors, but I will satisfy myself with this one: didn't we knock their socks off!

Floating said...

Wow,
This is what Cork Midsummer Festival is all about!!
Truly a festival of the senses: I'll never forget the sound of 1,100 people in a field slapping their (own!!) bare asses.

Well done to all concerned. It'll be tough to top this for next year.