Light-eaters to experience Turrell naked

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IN 2000, former director of the NGA, Dr Brian Kennedy, talked his staff into posing naked as part of the “InsideOut: New Chinese Art” exhibition.

Clothed members of the public at the Turrell exhibition
Clothed members of the public at the Turrell exhibition

Now his successor Dr Gerard Vaughan has gone a step further with the announcement that it will host its first-ever naked tours in April as part of a collaboration with Melbourne artist, Stuart Ringholt.

Ringholt’s work ranges from performance, video and sculpture to collaborative workshops, and is characterised by “a resolute sense of art as a social enterprise” in which personal and social themes such as fear and embarrassment are often presented through absurd situations or amateur self-help environments, including naturist gallery tours, anger workshops and participatory performance works.

As you’d expect, there’s a health benefit.

American light artist James Turrell, whose work is the subject of the present exhibition “James Turrell: A Retrospective”, while visiting Canberra last year, suggested the gallery allow visitors to experience his works naked, as had previously been done in Japan.

“We drink light through the skin as Vitamin D … so we are literally light-eaters. It’s part of our diet,” he said.

So, say gallery staff, if your diet could do with some light, you are welcome to “join in and remove the material barriers between artist and audience”. The experience includes a nude reception following the tour.

Media are invited to participate in the tours naked but alas photography is not allowed, but the good news is that the NGA will document the event and distribute the results.

Naked tours of James Turrell: A Retrospective”, Over 18s only, changing area available. Bookings to www.nga.gov.au .

Tour 1: Wednesday 1 April 5.30 pm

Tour 2: Thursday 2 April 7 am

Tour 3: Thursday 2 April 7.30 pm

nga.gov.au/jamesturrell

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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