Spencer Tunick Revisits Dead Sea Installation to Highlight Environmental Damage

The water levels in the Dead Sea are dropping dramatically.

Spencer Tunick, Dead Sea 8 (2011). Courtesy 4 Florentin.
Spencer Tunick, Dead Sea 8 (2011). Courtesy 4 Florentin.

On September 14, American artist Spencer Tunick will launch his first solo show in Israel, at 4 Florentin Space in Tel-Aviv. But his trip to the area will also give him the chance to re-stage his iconic mass nude installation at the Dead Sea from 2011.

Five years ago, Tunick enlisted 1,200 Israelis to swim naked in the salty waters of the sea which stands on the borders of Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan. The result is the series Dead Sea, which shows groups of men and women posing and floating in the breathtakingly beautiful scenery.

Spencer Tunick, Dead Sea 15 (2011). Courtesy 4 Florentin.

Spencer Tunick, Dead Sea 15 (2011). Courtesy 4 Florentin.

This stunning landscape, however, is unfortunately changing. According to the Jerusalem Post, the water levels of the Dead Sea have been dropping by about 1.2 meters annually, a worrying situation that has prompted Tunick to take action, seeking to raise awareness of this environmental problem.

In September, Tunick will visit the Dead Sea accompanied by Dr. Clive Lipchin, director of the Center for Transboundary Water Management at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies.

“The Dead Sea we once knew doesn’t exist anymore. The harm that has been done on all environmental levels has caused damages that are partly irreversible… the window of opportunity is narrow and will soon be closed,” Lipchin told the Jerusalem Post.

Spencer Tunick, Dead Sea 4 (2011). Courtesy 4 Florentin.

Spencer Tunick, Dead Sea 4 (2011). Courtesy 4 Florentin.

Tunick is already recruiting new participants via his website and getting ready to visit a site that holds particular significance in his oeuvre.

“Since 1991, I have traveled the world making immersive art with people of all races, religions, and nationalities,” Tunick said in a statement. “But Israel is a unique place that I hold close to my heart and is the only country in the Middle East where I can be allowed to have proper freedom of expression.”


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