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A Museum Tour in the Nude – Literally…

May 21, 2012

Photo by Christo Crocker; Tour participants displaying their tan lines at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, in Sydney, as they view Robert Owens’s “Sunrise #3.”

Original Article Found Here: The Museum of Contemporary Art [in Sydney, Australia] has enjoyed a surge in attendance since it reopened on March 29 after being closed for an 18-month, $56 million refurbishment, but these particular visitors would have the place all to themselves. They were here, after hours, for a tour of museum works that was itself billed as an artwork and had this as its title: “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).”

Here are some quotes of the participants of this tour:

“Everybody seemed to concentrate very much on what they were doing,” Lance Barton, a 57-year-old Sydney office worker making his debut as a nudist, recalled later. (“I have fantasized about it, but never done it,” he added. “Only a bit of midnight streaking by myself in the parklands around where I live.”)

As for the visitors, they seemed to be divided on the question of whether art was enhanced by viewing it naked.

“Not really,” Mr. Barton said.

But another participant, Tracey, who wouldn’t give her last name because she works for “a Christian organization,” said that “there was more focus on the art.”

“You’d think you’d turn up with all these other people without clothes and you’d be checking them out,” she said, “but I wasn’t looking at anyone.”

Afterward, as the visitors walked back to the changing room, glowing from the wine, a crowd on the street outside looked up at the parade of nakedness coming down the glassed-in stairs. But nobody in the group seemed to mind.

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