American photographer Spencer Tunick, best known in Israel for his large-scale nude shoot at the Dead Sea in 2011, is back in town to again drum up environmental awareness for this hypersaline lake at the lowest point on earth. He is also launching a new photo exhibit in Tel Aviv.
“Since 1991, I have traveled the world making immersive art with people of all races, religions, and nationalities,” Tunick said in a statement. “But Israel is a unique place that I hold close to my heart and is the only country in the Middle East where I can be allowed to have proper freedom of expression.”
Tunick’s first stop in Israel was at Mineral Beach, where he gathered over 1,000 people to pose in the buff to bring attention to the plight of the Dead Sea area.
“The threat to the Dead Sea’s existence is more tangible than ever,” said Dr. Clive Lipchin, director of the Center for Transboundary Water Management at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and Tunick’s host in Israel.
“These are not horror scenarios but an up to date situation report. The Dead Sea we once knew doesn’t exist anymore. The harm that has been done on all environmental levels has caused damages that are partly irreversible, and for those that still can be fixed – the window of opportunity is narrow and will soon be closed. Spencer Tunick’s visit will help to raise the topic with decision makers throughout the world.”
On September 11, Tunick created a new Naked Art Installation including 15 nude women and men whose lower body is below ground, aiming to demonstrate the danger of the deteriorating ecological phenomena of sinkholes surrounding the Dead Sea.
“Saving the Dead Sea is a world task. Israel must take responsibility for the destruction of nature over the years, and there is an opportunity for cooperation between countries in the region,” said Member of Parliament Yael Faran, the head of the lobby for the Dead Sea.
“The Caucus is working to save the Dead Sea in the Knesset by promoting practical solutions like the flow of water through the Jordan River, the downsizing of the Dead Sea Factories, and the Red Sea Dead Sea Canal route that will not bring any further environmental damage. We have to stop the expansion of sinkholes, a phenomenon inflicting widespread ecological destruction, and a danger to life,” she said.