I have taken part in Spencer Tunick’s art installations before & I love both the experience & the resulting art, so when I heard he was coming to Valencia I didn’t hesitate to book some cheap Ryanair flights direct from my home in Ireland.
Through previous installations and the Spencer Valencia dedicated Facebook page I met with some friends old & new including two other friends from Ireland for a meal the night before. There was a real international flavor to our group with people from Russia, Norway, the Netherlands, the UK, Brazil & Ireland all having a good time with no politics at all. There was much speculation about what Spencer had planned and several of us had spotted a few cherry pickers (raised platforms) around the city but as usual none of us really knew what Spencer had planned.
The morning of the installation we met in Centre del Carme Cultura Contemporània Carrer Museu, a museum in the centre of Valencia at 5 am. We gathered outside and the air of anticipation was palpable and even for people like me who’d taken part before it was hard to resist being swept up in the buzz. There was much nervous chatter and introductions, I got chatting to a Spanish girl who was alone so I introduced her to my friends so she felt part of a group.
Finally the door opened to the museum & we were filtered through a small entrance way where we had to hand in our model release forms before proceeding into a large courtyard with a walkway around it; here the men & women were separated with the men being brought into a second separate courtyard with a similar walkway around, there was more waiting and nervous chatter.
After a relatively short wait Spencer came in and with the help of a male & female model Spencer demonstrated the poses he wanted us to do during the various installations he had in mind.
Then we heard a series of exited screams for the other courtyard that told us another group were told to undress and they were lead out to the area for the 1st set up; soon after the remaining people were also told to undress which they did.
We were lead out into the streets. At one point they stopped the front of the group so the back of the group could catch up we were outside an apartment block, naturally there was much exited chatter while we were waiting this attracted the attention of a young woman on a balcony above who couldn’t believe that the street was covered with naked bodies; she quickly got her phone and was taking pics of us.
We were led through the arch of the Serrano Towers, a large castle type structure that was once one of the entrances to the old walled city of Valencia.
The theme of the installations were not just the empowerment of women but actually them raising above the men.
Later that evening there was a participants after party in Sabotage art gallery in Valencia with free drinks for everyone Spencer & Steve (Spencer’s assistant) were there posing for photos & chatting to everyone it was really relaxed after a while we moved on to a bar nearby where we talked & drank until the early hours.
This was yet another fantastic experience to add to my others installations all were unique in their own way but all brilliant. There’s something about being naked among a bunch of strangers that breaks down barriers and makes you realise you may not have a perfect figure but we’re all normal.
On my 1st installation in Dublin after we’d disrobed I heard a comment from a lady that for me summed up Dublin and every Spencer experience since she said
“I’ve got no clothes on but I don’t feel naked”.