No, it wasn’t an April Fools’ day joke. People really did go to see a retrospective of American artist James Turrell’s worth at the National Gallery of Australia yesterday in the nude.
A tour of the show, which baths visitors in light, was led by Melbourne-based contemporary artist Stuart Ringholt, who was also in his birthday suit. It’s not the first time Ringholt’s led naked art tours. There was another tour this morning and the last one is at 7pm tonight, after the gallery has closed.
Ringholt told the ABC people are more sexualised with their clothes on, than off, and that nudity is the great equaliser.
“Once [clothes are] off, you can’t tell who has the most money. There aren’t all those cultural signifiers that clothes carry. So everyone becomes very equal… everyone looks pretty much the same,” he said.
Judging by the pictures of the tour Business Insider has seen, the biggest challenge for the audience was deciding where to stick a name tag.
Ringholt said naked was the best way to see Turrell’s work “because your whole body can partake in a colour experience”.
The Turrell retrospective continues until June 8. Clothing is compulsory.
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