Naked City: The Baltic, Newcastle-Gateshead
July 2005
On July 17, 2005, Spencer carried out his first major isntallation outside of London in the UK. Approximately 1700 people volunteered to participate in the Newcastle-Gateshead installation, sponsored by the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, and documented by BBC3 in an hour-long feature called Naked City.

Malcolm has contributed a poem:


 


Spencer Tunick in Newcastle/Gateshead 17/7/05

Under cover of darkness
            And the watchful eye of the law,
Pockets of individuality came,
Each absorbed in their own fashion
            Percolated from every fabric of society.
There we waited,
            In an uneasy simmering mix,
To divest ourselves
            Of our lifelong

                        Shameful Secret:

A secret we are born with,
            And carry to our graves;
A shame we are burdened with
            By those we first burdened
            With teaching us to conceal it
            Within colourful layers
                         Of deception and pretence;
A secret shrouded in myth,
            Unless unveiled in glamorous legend
                         (Which true life cannot be);
A shame reinforced by Church and State,
            And their many constituent bodies;
A secret, nevertheless
                         (therefore?),
            We dared to share, and,
                         As the light began to dawn,
A shame

           We did not have.

For when pretence was peeled off,
And deception lay crumpled at our feet,
The shrouded myth came true to life,
Whilst legends
            (If they're ever true in real life),
Were truly laid to rest.

Yes, then we learnt each other's secret,
            And thus our own at last:
Which is,
            There is no secret,
As far as we could see.
Or, rather,
            That the secret was
The sameness of our secret
                              (The inherent beauty in our common humanity 
                                                  Revealed all).


Shameful isn't it?

          (Brrr!
                      That breeze of cold truth
                      Sure leaves one feeling vulnerable and 
                                                                                 exposed.
          Oh well,
                      It will soon be redressed
          With layers of warm deception.)

No wonder the secret must be kept.


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