Kris Rotsaert writes:
|As my girlfriend was selected to participate
in a limited installation by Spencer Tunick on Moosfluh after his Greenpeace
installation on Saturday, we prepared a backpack for a day in the mountains
again. The weather forecast was not very good, so along with food and drinks,
warm clothing and rain protection was included (as one should always take
on a walk in the mountains).
Up it went from Mörel to Riederalp, then further up to Moosfluh, which is only an end station for the cable cars used mostly in winter for skiing and in summer for some hikers: no building, no shelter, nothing but the metal construction of the cable cars. But what a magnificent view on the Aletsch glacier again. We arrived shortly before 11h, and most of the participants were already there, as was Spencer and his whole crew. Probably they had all decided to come along on this limited/private installation as there was not much interesting to do in the valley. And what else can you do in these mountains as a tourist then enjoy the view and have a pleasant walk?
Some paricipants and friendly cows on Moosfluh
|Spencer started to distribute his small model release forms and asked if I was interested to participate also in the installations. Of course I accepted this great honor. First Spencer asked us all to remain near the cable car station, while he would make some small installations with 1 or 2 girls. He did not want us to scare away the cows on top of the mountain. Meanwhile, some last Spanish participants arrived by foot from Riederalp, all exhausted by the walk. At quarter past 11, we went for a short walk to a first installation, women only. The men were requested to stay near the path, while the women went down no a curving slope in the mountain. When the women undressed, the 2 Spanish girls were refused to participate, as they had tannlines that were much to visible, showing white breasts on a well tanned body. Really a pity for them. Spencer positioned the remaining 8 or 9 girls in the curve, first standing up, then lying down, so their bodies formed a curve that was almost perpendicular with the curving Aletsch glacier in the background. I hope to see the result once, but it must be beautiful, and certainly more artistic than the large Sunday Greenpeace installation.|
|Just one remark that some (future or past) participants could interest: In took some time for some girls to understand exactly what Spencer meant, or to change position as fast as he wanted it. With the weather not to good and worsening, this influenced Spencer so much that at some moment he was indeed very rude to the girls, as my girlfriend later told me. I remember one of the assistants returning to the men waiting, saying something like "I've had it, I can't stand it any longer". At that moment, I did not know what he meant, but had a feeling that later proved to be correct. I have seen Spencer at work before, and I know this can happen. This has probably nothing to do with deliberate rudeness, but with stress and the urge to get a perfect setting for an installation. Spencer is a perfectionist, and he wants to coordinate his installations to the last detail. If some participants do not understand English very well, or misunderstand something, or simply can't move positions fast enough, then this slows down the installation and makes Spencer sometimes very nervous. Either you accept this, or you don't work with Spencer anymore, as I know of one participant in Duesseldorf.|
|We went on for a walk to the men's installation. At a certain moment, Spencer stopped the group near a small pond. With a view of the new Mexico installation in my mind, I guessed he wanted us to get in the water... He started to select some of the men, including myself, so there were only 4 of us for this setup. I had to step into the water first, moving slowly to the other side of the pond, then followed Daniel and 2 other men. The water was not too cold, and not even knee-deep, but there was this mud and rocks making it a bit awkward to move or stand still. We made some setups looking forward, looking to the middle of the group, and bending over just touching the surface with the palm of our hands while turning our head up looking at the camera. All this with the Aletsch glacier in the background. My girlfriend told me afterwards that the setup was beautiful, especially the one with us touching the water surface.When just out of the water, there were some 20 hang-gliders passing by in the air. Spencer noticed them, and called Daniel to quickly get on a small elevation in the surface.||
View of the glacier
Photo © Kris Rotsaert
|This could be a nice piece of art: a beautiful
blond tanned naked man standing on top of a mountain with lots of parachutes
gliding by in the air behind. Spencer and Daniel were lucky to be in the
right place at the right time... Sometimes one needs a bit of luck.
At last, all 10 men were positioned in a curve on the mountain slope, standing up with right arm stretched and hand resting on the shoulder of the next man, glacier in the background again. We had to move left, right, forward, then back again, until finally we where in the first position we started with... which seemed the best to Spencer. This will probably resemble a bit like the women installation. If I understood Spencer well, he wanted to express comradery between men with the hands on the shoulder, while the women were standing side by side not touching or even looking at each other. Not sure if Spencer meant anything more with this pose regarding men or women in general.
Finally Spencer did a last personal installation with a very pale and blond girl from Basel. Her light skin tone contrasted with the dark green of the small pine tree she stood behind and the gray/white glacier behind. After this, Spencer thanked us all for participating and wanted to have some time alone with his crew. We all returned to the cable cars and went down to Riederalp, while on Moosfluh it started to rain very slightly, and shortly after, the whole mountain was covered in clouds. So the weather stayed clear just long enough for Spencer and us to have some fine installations that Sunday.
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