Nude photo shoot to bring attention to a dying Dead Sea

Photographer Spencer Tunick plans once again to capture 300 nude men and women to raise awareness of the deteriorating state of the sea.


A photo from Spencer Tunick’s 2011 installation of the Dead Sea. Photo courtesy of Spencer Tunick.

Naama Barak

(Israel21c) – Ten years after Spencer Tunick first set his lens on the Dead Sea, the world-renowned photographer will once more capture the quickly disappearing natural wonder against the backdrop of hundreds of nude people.

The photoshoot, which is set to take place on Sunday, October 17, will see 300 men and women gather in Arad, the picturesque town overlooking the Dead Sea, for an installation meant to raise awareness of the deteriorating state of the sea and to celebrate the establishment of the Dead Sea Museum.

Tunick’s work, which includes dozens of large-scale nude human installations captured in urban and natural environments, draw a large international following and often refer to social and environmental challenges.

“Being back in Israel is surreal in many ways,” said Tunick. “Aside from the obvious – coronavirus and the travel bans and restrictions over the past 18 or so months, so much has changed since I have been here last.

“One of the primary aims of my installation photographs is to raise awareness of the devastation that has befallen the areas of the Dead Sea that I photographed in 2011. The original installation site at Metzuke Dragot has all but disappeared and is no longer accessible due to dangerous sinkholes,” he said.

“I am hoping that my new work and the inauguration of the Dead Sea Museum that will be in Arad will inspire methods and technologies, environmentalism and conservancy, aimed at rebuilding and recondition the Dead Sea,” he adds.

Spencer Tunick, left, with Arad Mayor Nisan Ben-Hamo ahead of this year’s photoshoot. Photo by Doron Orgil.

“There are many ways to inspire people, and I do this through art. With hundreds of people volunteering for our installation, we are immersing ourselves in the preservation of an important natural resource and world wonder.”

“For me, it will be a very rewarding experience, and I hope it is for the participants and everyone who gets to view and appreciate the finished framed photographic works. Yet, it comes with the sad realization of the disastrous consequences of overexploiting natural resources without measures toward restoration,” Tunick continued.

“With my works at the Dead Sea, I attempt to poetically visually create pushback against the loss of a natural wonder of the world. Change will not happen in a vacuum, sometimes it takes art to spread the word.”