Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Spencer Tunick roams his "Naked World": so does the individual "body" matter at all?


It may seem daring even for cable (HBO) to display sweeping canvases of “artistic” nudity, as Spencer Tunick roams the world to set up mass photographic shots of “volunteers”, or sometimes individuals against interesting backdrops (like emperor penguins), in “Naked World” (2003).  The film (directed by Arlene Nelson) is a sequel to “Naked States” (2000), where Tunick had sought individual “volunteers”, like for KP in the Army.

He sets up his craft in midtown Manhattan (where he was arrested in 1999), Paris, London, Ireland. St. Petersburg, Russia; Melbourne, Australia;  South Africa, Japan, on a Greek ship off the coast of Antarctica, and finally Sao Paolo, Brazi.

One gets the impression that gratuitous nudity (particularly in masses, that certainly remind one of the Holocaust, but even individually) conveys the notion that all bodies are “the same” and that individual variations become meaningless.  That could be one reason why most of the civilized world limits public nudity – so that some suspense and individuality (close-up) is saved for intimate situations when appropriate (and not just in marriage). Remember, at a personal level, discrimination means "noticing differences." 


I can remember a church encounter group, back in the spring of 1972, in the days I was trying to go hetero, when the leader started with, “What about the body?”


I recall that there is a "no clothes" summer resort near Gibson, PA, in the Poconos, off I-81, S of Binghtamton NY.




For today’s short film, I’ll propose “Felix Bamugartner: Stratosphere Jump, Full Version”, YouTube link (9 min) here.  No, I don't have the courage to "try" this kind of "space tourism".  Wouldn't AMC Theaters like to license this video to show on its IMAX screens? Try converting it to 3-D. 


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