Artist Asks 100 Women To Pose Nude At Republican Convention
Artist Spencer Tunick is looking for 100 women to pose nude at the Republican Convention in Cleveland, Ohio this July. He’s doing this to remind Republicans that women play a huge part in deciding the outcome of the election and have a burgeoning presence in the future of politics, and the future of the country and the world.
“It’s not so much a protest but an action, a wake-up call to the absurdity of politics and discrimination,” he said.
Tunick, who generally works on larger installations that can involve several hundred to more than a thousand nude models, is keeping this much smaller in scope, and the shoot, set on private property, is set for sunrise on Sunday, July 17, the week in which the Republican National Convention takes place.
Tunick and his wife spent a good deal of time working on the language for the website where women can sign up, and kept their daughters in mind.
“I wrote it with her and the work is for my daughters, for their future, for them not to grow up in a society with hate, for them to grow up in a world with less violence toward women and more opportunities for them,” he said.
He even felt compelled to tweet about it:
— Spencer Tunick (@SpencerTunick) May 11, 2016
But there were other pressing concerns as well, and the couple included other issues—including environmental ones. Tunick said he thinks that people will get their own message from the work, “and the idea of this ray of light extending over the city.”
“It’s sort of to energize the city, to heat it up, and this ray of light bringing knowledge and helping maybe to tone down the rhetoric of hate and prejudice against women preceding the convention.”
Indeed, the idea of using 100 women for the installation comes at a time when the Republicans seem to be trying to legislate a woman’s every move, at least when it comes to her body.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence comes to mind, with his severely restrictive abortion law that prohibits women from having abortions if the reason is due to fetal abnormality—including Down Syndrome. Under this strict law, doctors at abortion clinics must have hospital admitting privileges, and it also prohibits the donation of fetal tissue for scientific research. Doctors who are found donating tissue face a prison sentence. What’s really cruel about this new law is that a woman must undergo an ultrasound to view the fetus and must also listen to the heart at least 18 hours before having an abortion.
Then there’s Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, who said women should be punished for having abortions. And now he’s even saying that he plans to appoint Supreme Court justices who are against abortion.
And if you have any doubts that there’s a Republican war on women’s reproductive rights, take note:
- In 2011, in all 50 states combined, legislators introduced over 1,100 provisions regarding reproductive health and rights-related issues, a huge increase from 950 that were introduced in 2010. By the end of 2011, 36 states had enacted 136 of these provisions, a marked increase from the 89 enacted the year before.
- Some 68 percent of these provisions–92 in 24 states–restricted a woman’s access to abortion services, a sharp increase from the year before, when 26 percent of introduced provisions restricted abortion. And the 92 new abortion restrictions that became law in 2011 smashed the 2005 record of 34 restrictions.
- Abortion restrictions took a number of forms; including bans in six states, additional waiting periods in three states, ultrasounds in five states, and, in many cases, insurance coverage, and clinic regulations.
So Tunick’s installation comes at a meaningful time, and perhaps the Republican faithful, as they are going to and from the convention, will take note of this. The 100 women will hold mirrors over their heads, reflecting the scene.
“By holding mirrors, we hope to suggest that women are a reflection and embodiment of nature, the sun, the sky and the land. We want to express the belief that we will rely upon the strength, intuition and wisdom of progressive and enlightened women to find our place in nature and to regain the balance within it. The mirrors communicate that we are a reflection of ourselves, each other, and of the world that surrounds us. The woman becomes the future and the future becomes the woman.”
With the upcoming presidential elections, this sentiment seems to be lost on many Republicans, and it’s something they may come to regret.
Photo by Jean Therroux/Getty Images