What does nude modeling have to do with saving a global landmark? American photographer Spencer Tunick is here to explain with his new art installation, which is intended to make a statement about the quickly disappearing Dead Sea.
In October of this year, Tunick gathered over 200 men and women, who stood nude and painted white in rows of 10, and photographed them while perched on a ladder, shouting instructions through a megaphone.
In an interview with the Times of Israel, Tunick explained that the Dead Sea is “disappearing.” He added that it’s imperative that the citizens of the world come together to create a plan to sustain the sea’s current level or reinvigorate it with fresh water because “water is life.”
Tunick, who is a contemporary photographer with a history of photographing large crowds of nude models engaged in complex performances, explained that this installation is smaller and “more conceptual” than the last installation he photographed in the same area.
Spencer Tunick photographed nude models who were painted white as a tribute to the pillars of salt mentioned in the story of Lot’s wife in the Bible. Tunick said that the photographs of these white-painted models are meant to represent the Dead Sea’s natural springs, which create pillars of salt below the water’s surface.
This project was carried out in cooperation with several organizations, including the Arad Municipality, the Dead Sea Revival Project, and the Tourism Ministry. The goal is to raise awareness about the current plight of the Dead Sea and bring attention to the soon-to-be-launched virtual Dead Sea Museum in Arad, Israel.
Tunick’s presence in the Dead Sea region, as well as his activism and artwork, are seen as gifts to the people of Arad. The city’s mayor, Nisan Ben Hamo, said that he appreciates Tunick’s work and emphasized the importance of saving the Dead Sea.
Those who want to explore the Dead Sea Museum, see Tunick’s art in action, or donate to the cause can do so here through the museum’s website.