In most cases museums are places where you really have to behave: no running, no photos, no food, no touching, but… no clothes? Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art is taking things over the edge. Stuart Ringholt has invited museum visitors to view his new exhibition stark naked.
The “artistic nude” has just gone from stone-cold marble in a classical gallery to being fully alive in a interactive exhibition where the viewers themselves become part of the art, by leaving their knickers at the door. Now here’s something to write home about from your holidays in Australia!
Museum and the “artistic nude”
From April 27th to 29th, visitors at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney will have to strip of each and every piece of clothing if they’re going to see Stuart Ringholt’s latest works. To make things even better, Stuart himself will be there, in the nude, asking visitors to follow suit.
The body of work on display by the Melbourne artist revolves around feelings like fear and shame. Ringholt is, to say the least, known for his antics for getting people to engage with the art. One time, he showed up with strips of toilet paper hanging from his trousers as he wandered the rooms with an excited look on his face.
With this new body of work the artists hopes to tear down all boundaries between the artist, his art and the spectators at the museum. In this case, the obstacles between the viewer and the artwork must be totally torn down for it to work.
The exhibition programme is very clear about what Stuart Ringholt wants to happen: Preceded by a tour of the show by artist Stuart Ringholt 6-8pm (the artist will be naked). Those who wish to join the tour must also be naked. Adults Only.
Is the Sydney art scene ready to host a naked exhibition? Rachel Kent, an organizer of the event firmly argues, Yes. Kent herself said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, “Sydney loves naked people.” Looks like all the prerequisites for this type of show are there.
Everything has been arranged, there is even a small dressing (rather undressing) room near the entrance to the exhibition where museum visitors can leave their “masks” behind. Having already done a similar thing in Tasmania at the Museum of Old and New Arts and in Melbourne at the Contemporary Art of Melbourne Museum, Ringholt said it went off without a hitch and proved to be very popular.
Would you join in one of Stuart Ringholt’s exhibitions like this? How do you think that kind of show would go down in the UK?