|On this May 6, 2007,
Spencer found himself faced with a logistical challenge that he probably
never imagined likely. The popular opinion cites Zocalo Square as being
populated by no less than 18,000 naked people, other reports indicate 16,500
- the mere difference of 1,500 being larger than the entire participating
body of some of Spencer's other largescale installations. There is no question
that this is a record unlikely to be broken in the forseeable future, but
as we have come to learn in Spencer Tunick's world - nothing is impossible.
I am very keen to know how many participants did not find their clothes
after the installation was over.
Judging by the number of Spanish-language Facebook pages and discussion groups focusing on the Zocalo Square installation, it is qute evident that many Spanish-speaking Tunick fan communities grew out of this collosal installation, however, despite such a huge number of participants, it was difficult to find people to write a few paragraphs for us, probably due to the language barrier. Three people came forward, two of whom have their impressions here. The third participant made a gallant attempt to translate her impression into English, but the result was so difficult to work with, that I had to give up after almost rewriting three paragraphs (around 8% into the document).
I was also approached by a very generous photographer, Cesar Fandiño, who was among the press photographers on that memorable morning, and he has given us permission to use a few of his photographs, and for that I am very grateful.
Gil Limor, 2007
|I was really
nervous and on the verge of massive disappointment because we were 15 minutes
late and I thought we would not be allowed to enter, but when we arrived
there was this HUGE queue of people that we joined and it took us about
one hour to get to the main square, I couldn't believe how many people
We were chatting with one of the staff and he told us that about 16,500 people got in the installation, and they even had to turn people down because it was getting late...how do you like that Barcelona?
This will be so unforgettable to me...the anxiety of waiting for the rest of the people to get in, the euphoria of the people when they're told to undress, the excitement of running on the country's main square in the nude, everyone being in a jolly and playful mood, the realization that every body has imperfections and that's what makes them beautiful, I think it'll take several days for this feeling to wear off.
Photo: Cesar Fandiño
|I woke up at 3AM and got dressed, put on my contacts, brushed my teeth and was out my hotel door by 3:20am. By 3:30am I was on a taxi heading to the Zocalo. I was very nervous and the taxi driver was talking about the photo shoot. I realized at this point that almost everyone in Mexico City knew about this.|
Photo: Cesar Fandiño
|When I got downtown I was surprised to see
that even though I was an hour early, the streets were crowded with cars
and thousands of people already on the street. I then heard a Spencer Tunick
worker say that if you had registered, go to the line in the right and
if you hadn't go to the line on the left. I had my registration so I went
to the line on the right. The line was already very long, all the way down
Palma street and around the corner. The line seemed to go on forever but
I finally found the end of it and it was about 80% male 20% female, but
more women seemed to come later on.
It was warm outside considering it was only 3:45AM. The line then started to move around 4am and then we later found out, was being reorganized. Well this didn't work out too well and all the lines started merging from two well-formed lines into a big crowd of people trying to get into a tiny entrance.
|There was a guy playing guitar, people singing, and just a very high energy within the crowd. I was getting very nervous because people were very angry at one point and it seemed like they were going to riot. After moving through a lot of the crowd, I made it near the entrance and I was immediately let in after showing my registration. I hadn't finished my paperwork so I borrowed someone's pen and put in my zip code. She asked me something in Spanish that I did not understand at all so I said “Si” and she just laughed and told her friend something. We then handed over our registration papers and walked into the Zocalo.|
|When I got in, there was already
over a thousand people inside. There were some porter potties to the right
side and a lot of police officers. We were then told to sit down on the
floor. There were all sorts of people, shapes, and sizes. From skinny to
fat, tall to short, wild looking to very conservative, very young to very
old. We all squished together on the floor without much room to move around.
A few minutes later told to stand up and get closer together. This happened at least 4 more times as more and more people were coming in and there was not enough room. I then settled at a spot near the left side. I sat there and was thinking.... “What am I doing here?” I am thousands of miles away from home and nobody knows that I am here. But then I just thought to myself: “This is a once in a lifetime experience that I may never be able to do again.”
Photo: Cesar Fandiño
Photo: Cesar Fandiño
|People just kept pouring and pouring
in by the hundreds and then by the thousands. It seemed like it was never
going to stop with all the people coming in. By this point I was very excited
to be a part of something so huge and historical. The scenery was very
nice and at this point was only about 6am in the morning.
I then started seeing a lot of people with plastic bags to put their clothing in. I hadn't brought anything so I figured that they were being handed out and I just had missed them. I asked a girl next to me where she had gotten her bag at. She replied by saying that they brought them from home and that it said it on the instructions. I had translated the instructions but it came out as: “Bring a STOCK MARKET.” The girl told me that it clearly stated in the instructions to bring a bag and showed me in spanish but my spanish is not good. So then she said that we could share a bag to put our clothes in when we took them off. I was so relieved at this point and no longer was worried.
I then started talking to her and found out that her name was Diana and her friend was named Nubia. They both spoke really good english and were there by themselves. Diana's father was opposed to her coming but her mother was not, Nubia's parents didn't even know she was there. They were college graduates and ages 24 and 25 but they looked a lot younger like 19/20. Both very sweet and beautiful girls. Diana and I started talking about different things like how it was surprising for so many people to show up despite the strong Catholic faith in Mexico and of how the people had reacted earlier.
|At one point I had forgotten what we were
there for until a Spencer Tunick worker said on the sound system that in
about 30 minutes we would be given instructions by Spencer on what to do.
We then started talking about their travels throughout Europe and they
were very nice girls. It was nice because it now felt like I was there
with friends. Diana then said something along the lines of it being weird
that in a few minutes we would be taking off our clothes and be completely
naked in front of each other. It was now a little weird because at first
I was there by myself but now my new friends with would now be seeing me
naked and vice-versa.
Spencer then got on the microphone and explained a lot of procedures and the fact that we had to hurry and not waste anytime because he was in a “race against the sun.” I honestly don't remember too much that was being said because I was so nervous. There was a translator and they would take turns speaking.
Photo: Cesar Fandiño
|Before I knew it he said that at the count of 3 we would then remove ALL clothing (Including sandals, socks, underwear, glasses, jewelery, etc. COMPLETELY NUDE).People then started laughing and cheering at the same time! I looked around and people looked both nervous and excited at the same time. My new friends were standing right next to me and they looked a little nervous. Then came the countdown.... 3..........2.........1.........|
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