For the first time in Canberra’s National Gallery of Australia, visitors will have the opportunity to take nude tours.
For three days in April, American artist James Turrell’s “A Retrospective,” which focuses on light and landscape, will be viewed by a select group of 150 viewers wearing nothing but their birthday suits. The exhibition covers Turrell’s 70-year career and includes 50 works, such as 10 light installations, projection pieces, holograms, drawings, prints, and photograms.
The nude tours will be led by experienced nude tour guide Stuart Ringholt, a Melbourne-based artist.
“Intellectually, it is an interesting idea, nudity,” Ringholt told News Corp Australia. “Turrell’s work is very minimal, very reductive — he doesn’t work with materials like a quintessential artist, such as clay, paint and other traditional materials: he just works with light.”
Public nudity is against the law in Australia, and this plays into the exhibition’s message, using nudity as a form of protest. “It is against the law to be nude in public in Australia, and by being nude you are breaking the law: but because we closed the museum to a certain few, it becomes private space and also a space of protest,” said Ringholt. The hour-long tours will take place outside of regular viewing hours, so no patrons will be caught off-guard by any nudity.
This isn’t the first time Turrell’s work has been exposed to some human anatomy. He has held similar in-the-nude tours before in Japan.