Politics

Photographer Spencer Tunick brings latest nude photo project to Mexico


Fifteen years after he photographed some 18,000 naked people in Mexico City’s central square, United States photographer Spencer Tunick returned virtually to the capital this week to conclude his pandemic project “Stay Apart Together.”

While he is known internationally for his large-scale nude shoots, Tunick’s latest Mexico City project was a more intimate affair.

Via Zoom, the 55-year-old photographer directed a two-day shoot of some 50 unclad subjects who gathered at a cultural center in the inner city neighborhood of Juárez. Alonso Gorozpe, a creative producer, coordinated the project on the ground.

Over half the participants – chosen from some 300 people who expressed interest in joining the sessions held Monday and Tuesday – indicated that they participated in Tunick’s 2007 shoot in the zócalo, as the capital’s central square is known.

According to the newspaper La Jornada, one of the most striking scenes directed by Tunick from his New York state home involved the participants running out of the cultural center with open laptops in their hands. They removed their face masks in an “act of liberation” as they exited into the open air, the newspaper said.

The aim of the Mexico City shoot, and the “Stay Apart Together” project of which it is part, is to document human response to the coronavirus pandemic, including people’s capacity to adapt to new experiences such as enforced isolation.

Tunick completed some 50 virtual photography sessions for the project, with participants joining the shoots from locations around the world.

The Mexico City shoot was the first one in which the participants were together rather than in their own homes. The images and footage shot over the past two days could be featured in a documentary about the project that is currently being made.

In addition to his zócalo shoot, Tunick has photographed nude subjects in San Miguel de Allende and Tulum. He captured 100 women wearing nothing but garlands of marigolds in the Guanajuato colonial city in 2014 and 20 unclothed people standing on their heads in the same city in 2016.

During a holiday in Tulum in 2018, Tunick decided to make use of the abundant quantities of sargassum on the beach, photographing some 25 naked people as they crouched in masses of the seaweed.

The photographer said after his 2007 zócalo shoot that “Mexicans are very open-minded” about baring all for the camera. He told those who participated in this week’s shoot that he would like to return to Mexico to work as long as he has a worthwhile project to work on.

With reports from La Jornada 





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