'We the Nipple': Photographer Spencer Tunick challenging social media's ban on nudity in new art action

US photographer and artist Spencer Tunick in Bogota in 2016. — AFP pic
US photographer and artist Spencer Tunick in Bogota in 2016. — AFP pic

NEW YORK, May 31 — The artist-photographer, in collaboration with the National Coalition Against Censorship, will stage a nude installation in New York on June 2.

Entitled “We The Nipple,” the project will bring together 100 undressed participants who will be photographed by Tunick at an as-yet-undisclosed location.

The picture will be carefully crafted to follow Facebook and Instagram’s community guidelines regarding nudity, which ban any “sexually suggestive” content.

An installation will also be created using donated images of male nipples. The NCAC has announced that several prominent male artists have already given photos of their nipples for the cause.

Among them are Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, artist Andres Serrano and TV personality Andy Cohen.

Spencer Tunick is renowned for his images of large-scale installations, often featuring hundreds of nude models. In 2007, he organized a shoot of more than 18,000 undressed participants, who laid down in Mexico City’s Zocalo Square.

Ahead of the event on June 2, the NCAC has launched the #WeTheNipple campaign that aims at “challeng[ing] the censorship of artistic nudity on Facebook and Instagram.”

Last month, Instagram announced that “inappropriate” content would be “limited from being recommended on [its] Explore and hashtag page.”

Several artists have condemned the decision, arguing that it stifles artistic expression. Indeed, Instagram partially allows nudity in artwork — prohibiting nude photography.

On April 29, artist Betty Tompkins’ account was deactivated after she shared an image of her 1969 “F*** Painting #1” — which is in the collection of the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Additional information about Tunick’s New York art action can be found on the NCAC website.  — AFP-Relaxnews

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