An estimated 2,500 Montrealers answered the call for nude models from
New York artist Spencer Tunick, who specializes in large-format photos
of naked bodies, and one of them belonged to Computer Science Professor
Grogono, exhilarated by the experience, wrote an account for his Web site.
Here are some excerpts:
Tunick had told us to be there by 5 a.m., but by 4:30, the lobby
of the contemporary art museum was already jammed with people signing
forms. The sky lightened and it started to rain. A few ran for cover,
but most waiting for the rain to stop. It did stop, and the man himselfSpencer
Tunickappeared to cheers and applause. He thanked us for coming
and told us what to do. Finally, he said, Lets go, or
something like that. I am not quite sure because everyone was cheering
We stood up and took all our clothes off. The ordinary spectacle
of a crowd in Montreal, so familiar from jazz festivals and similar events,
morphed into an ocean of bare skin. In our naked glory, we were herded
by Tunicks helper John onto a short section of St. Catherine St.
At a word from Tunick, we all fell down onto the damp, hard asphalt.
The view from ground level was not one that most of us are accustomed
to. One realized that people had tattoos and jewelry in odd places, and
although it was not particularly cold, the bottom a few inches from my
nose had distinct goosebumps.
Lying naked on cold concrete at 6 in the morning is not particularly
sexy; at least, I didnt find it so. After a few minutes, it even
gets a little uncomfortable. Voyeurs would probably be disappointed, because
the actual spectacle of acres of skin does not match the imagination.
So what are we all doing here? I am having fun. A lot of fun. With
a lot of wonderful, happy, uninhibited people.
Tunick had advised us to note where we had left our clothes. I carefully
placed mine 10 feet due east of a traffic light with my Concordia University
sweatshirt on top for easy identification. I returned to the traffic light
to find. . . no clothes. Panic. Calm down. Oops, wrong traffic light.
In these grim days of globalization, deficit reduction, job cuts
and environmental destruction, we need a few happy and joyous events to
keep us sane. A city where a thousand people can dance naked in the street
is a city worth living in.
For a full account of Peter Grogonos experience, visit http://www.cs.concordia.ca/~faculty/grogono/tunick.html.