National Gallery of Australia

  

National Gallery of Australia

Have you ever imagined admiring an exhibition by a well-known American completely naked? So picture you are admiring his life's work while you have no clothes on and everyone around you is also naked.

A bunch of ordinary people completely naked around the gallery and you being one of them is what lies ahead if you attend one of the naked tours of the “James Turrell: A Retrospective” exhibition at Camberra's National Gallery of Australia.
100 uninhibited art fans take part in the National Gallery of Australia's first ever naked art tour. The exhibition is called “James Turrell: A Retrospective.”
The exhibition highlights the 70-year old American light artist's 50 years of work and includes installations purpose-built for Canberra. as well as drawings, prints and photographs.
You don't have to be naked to view the show. The naked tours take place after hours on three days only. However, it looks like many people are not afraid to strip down as both tours are already fully booked.
When visiting Canberra, Turrell previous had encouraged the gallery to allow visitors to experience his works naked. And he had done the same in Japan.
“We drink light through the skin as Vitamin D... so we are literally light eaters,” said Turrell. “It's part of our diet.”
The naked tours are in close collaboration with Melbourne-based artist Stuart Ringholt, who has had similar encounters at Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art and Tasmania's Museum of Old and New Art.
Ringholt's work regularly explores personal and social themes such as fear and embarrassment through ridiculous situations or novice self-help environments - and these include nude gallery tours.
“It seems absurd to bring a bunch of beautifully dressed people into the gallery when we can bring in a bunch of nude people,” said Ringholt.
“We seem to forget the nude is really important to art history. The museum in itself is reductive - we have the idea of the white cube but why have we then reduced the viewer through their clothing?”
Apart from Japan and Australia, similar tours have been hosted at other galleries worldwide. For instance, in 2013, in Viella, Austria's Leopold museum offered a special after-hours showing of its “Nude Men from 1800 to the Present Day” exhibit, which welcomed more than 60 naked art lovers.

 

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