About a thousand naked Israelis and tourists between the ages of 18 and
77 – most men, participated in a nude installation at the Dead Sea at dawn on Saturday.
The southern odyssey is the culmination
of the highly controversial “Naked Sea” project of American nude installation
designer and photographer-videographer Spencer Tunick, who said he was inspired
by the region’s beauty and was interested in drawing attention to the need to
preserve the body of water.
Initially envisioned by Tunick and his
friend, Tel Aviv resident Ari Fruchter, the project faced much
protest against the nudity that the artwork entailed, with particularly vocal
and ongoing criticism from Shas MK Nissim Ze’ev. Tunick has been photographing
and videotaping nude installations since 1992, and since 1994 has designed 75
temporary, site-specific installations all over the world, many of which have
been to promote social causes, according to his website.