100 brave women posed nude for an art installation by Spencer Tunick during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.
July 17, 2016
The photograph involved 100 nude women holding large mirror discs, reflecting the knowledge and wisdom of progressive women and the concept of “Mother Nature” into and onto the convention center, cityscape and horizon of Cleveland. The philosophy of the artwork relates to the idea of the sacred feminine. 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.
Inclusion, participation and interactivity are and always have been, an integral aspect of Spencer’s art. He cannot make his art without the collaboration of the participants. The experience of the individual posing in a mass group nude art installation is as varied as the body types that exist within the works. Everyone has their own experience and story that they bring to the moment and the story and interactivity is always a subtext of the work at large. Spencer’s art provides a unique opportunity for artists and non-artists alike to take part in the creation of a contemporary work of installation/performance art and to become the medium itself. The way in which the participants take part in this collective artwork has a transformational effect both on the individual and the collective.
Republicans, Democrats and all other political parties were welcome to take part in reflecting their anger through art against the hateful repressive rhetoric of many in the Republican Party towards women and minorities. Over 1800 women signed up for the 100 spaces to bare all in this heightened arena of politics and protest and this number alone is a testament to their bravery and desire for change. They did not know where they were going to pose when they signed up to be part of this art action; it could have been in the epicenter of the security zone, but they still wanted to participate. Our concept was for 100 women to pose with 100 mirrors. Our location, kept secret in order to protect the women, would only allow for a small number of participants. But 1800 women would have shown up naked in front of the steps of the convention to make art with what may have been one of the most controversial subjects in this presidential race: a woman’s body.
These are women art warriors.
Thank you to the women who posed!
Thank you to the trans and non-binary participants!
Thank you to Kristin Bowler!
(collaborator, co-writer of the synopsis and graphic designer)
Thank you to the art crew!
Ohio Wins – (website design, production, data collection & processing)
Matthew T. – (location manager / fixer)
Joshua Louis Simon – (documentary film)
Ani Cordero – (music for documentary film)
Lindsey Byrnes – (documentary photography)
Gabby O’Neill – (video documentation)
Alexandra Hidalgo – (video documentation)
Mary Wins McNeill “aka sister” – (production assistant)
Katie Christine Casenhiser – (production assistant)
Sophie Schwartz – (production assistant)
Jason Casenhiser – (production assistant)
James Tyler – (production assistant)