Turrell + NGA invite us to experience nudity + light

jamesturrellexhibit

Screenshot (image): Now 70+ years old, James Turrell’s work has always been interactive and he has used his scientific background to manipulate how viewers see his work.

Visitors to the National Gallery of Australia invited to bare all in new naked tour

The National Gallery of Australia (NGA) in Canberra is offering visitors the chance to strip-down and experience a new exhibition in the nude.

In a first for the NGA, visitors to the popular exhibition by James Turrell: A Retrospective, which explores the American artist’s love of light and landscape will have the chance to view works sans clothes.

It is hoped the unique approach to the gallery’s summer exhibition will remove the material barrier between artist and audience.

Melbourne-based contemporary artist Stuart Ringholt has collaborated with the gallery to create the cheeky new event.

Mr Ringholt said nakedness would enhance the audience’s perception of James Turrell’s immersive work.

“James’s focus is very much on light, perception, the sun and moon, and all things celestial,” he said.

“He has this notion that the skin drinks in light in the form of vitamin D, so it seemed a perfect match really.

“How could the skin drink in light, which is required in his work, if we are wearing our clothes, so it makes perfect sense for us to remove them.”

In Turrell’s last visit to the capital he suggested the gallery allow audiences to experience his work naked, as had previously been done during one of his exhibitions in Japan.

The gallery will run three naked tours beginning on April 1, with a total of 150 people being allowed to strip off.

“The museum will be closed to everyone except for people who have booked for the event,” Mr Ringholt said.

“So it will only be open for nudists and people who are prepared to remove their clothes.”

Even the media have been invited…clothing optional.