Israeli MK: ‘No to Spencer Tunick and the Sodomites!’
Spencer Tunick has set his sights on organizing another one of his mass nude photo shoots, this time in Israel at the Dead Sea (Hebrew). It will be called, fittingly enough, Naked Sea.
But not if far-right MK Zvulun Orlev has anything to say about it. He’s written to the attorney general demanding that such an outrage against public decency be halted immediately. Apparently, Orlev has forgotten whatever Humash he was taught in yeshiva as a boy, which would’ve reminded him that the vicinity of the Dead Sea, site of the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, would be a perfect venue for the Tunick project. Orlev sputters with rage about the offense to public decency and then says:
We’re talking about the culture of Sodom and Gomorrah!
Indeed we are. Orlev also makes a questionable claim that the authorities would prohibit any artistic display in a public setting which would involve nudity. I guess that rules out displaying all those wonderful fleshy Titian, Rubens and Caravaggio nudes on the streets of Bnai Brak. Alas. The yeshiva bochers won’t know what they’re missing.
Apparently lost on the Jewish puritans and prudes is the fact that the photography project would be a tremendous boost to Israeli tourism and the Dead Sea region, which is under severe environemental threat. Orlev must think he can make up for such a boost with the scores of tzniusdike Jews who will flock to the Holy Land when they hear that Jewish chastity has been protected by the righteous MK.
Visit the Naked Sea link above if you’d like to support the fundraising for this artistic project and say “Nyeh, nyeh” to all the Orlevs of this world. H/t Dena Shunra.
10 thoughts on “Israeli MK: ‘No to Spencer Tunick and the Sodomites!’ – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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I’m thinking about participating in the picture. Whenever I see such pictures it reminds me of other pictures from WW2 and makes me very uneasy. Maybe participating will fix that scratch in my brain.
Do it free man, in 10 years I did 14 installation with Spencer, there is absolutely NOTHING sexual, it is liberating among hundreds of people naked total equality. Nothing that reminds of WW 2……well fed people , no smiling during the photo but a wonderful atmosphere of camaraderie and joy in participating to A WORK OF ART
I’ve only been in one picture, it was the group of 5,200 in front of the Sydney Opera House in March 2010. I couldn’t get to my friends in the group waiting but made many new ones, especially with a 42 yr old woman and her mum, It was such a HAPPY day for everyone there. If you can get to this installation make sure you do , you will enjoy yourself wonderfully.
No can do on this. I just think it’s unseemly that Zionists participate in a nude display or any other kind of artistic endeavour of significant magnitude while their neighbors next door are held in captivity and their homes and land are stolen from them while they’re deprived of all rights.
Israelis deserve the likes of Orlev and as far as I’m concerned deserve to be shunned into shame until they recognize the rights of Palestinians and get out of their apathetic stupor.
So, sorry, but this is a small price to pay, in my opinion.
That is the spirit. Don’t let anything ruin your stereotype.
This kind of project is just another proof that an alien culture has been imposed upon an indigenous population, and that Israel is totally out of touch with local values.
I find this tasteless, maybe not for the same reasons as Orlev. Wouldn’t it be perfect if they could convince some of the local Beduins to participate….
That is the same excuse that extreme right wings use in Europe and US to harass and reject people from Muslim countries and people with dark skin that come to live there.
So what are your views ? It looks like extreme right when it comes to ME and extreme left when it comes to the west. Or is it different ?
@ Free man)
How did you draw that kind of stereotypical conclusions ?
Personally, I have no problem with nudity. I grew up in different places and in very different cultures, and I don’t believe in any universal truth or superiority when it comes to cultural values.
As I would never dream of wearing the niqab in the West (in the Arab world neither !) I don’t support that kind of happenings in the Middle East imposed from the outside. Why don’t you go ask the indigenous people what they think about this event ? I suggest it to take place in Tel Aviv.
Muslim immigrants or what you call ‘people with dark skin’ didn’t come to the West and imposed their political supremacy. If you haven’t understood yet, to me, Israel is a colonial enterprise. I’m also fed up with Israelis telling the Arabs how they should liberate themselves from “cultural and religious chains”, but I 100% support this discourse when it’s internal. I recommend a rather new blog written by Amina A called “A Gay Girl in Damascus”.
You pretend to know Arabs, you’ve worked with them , you have ‘friends’ in Ramallah etc etc Why don’t you ask all these Arab friends what they think about this ?
Well, I’m off for Nakba-commemorations:
“thawra hatta al-nasr” (revolution until victory)
This may be alien to many cultures, but I don’t see anything inherently wrong or offensive with this public display of nudity. In many other cultures, nudity has been quite ordinary and not even worth mentioning twice. It may be a sign of rigidness and anti-life attitude of our own culture that we still consider human body as something shameful or indecent.
I found all of the comments interesting.
Watching the video, at one of the images I did get a reminiscence of the heaps of Nazi era corpses, but that was only in one of the many images.
Imposing a Western attitude (and a very recent Western attitude at that!) towards nudity on an indigenous population that has been overwhelmed by immigrants with a different set of values is problematic: First “we “(colonial powers like the Dutch, but also others) imposed a code of modesty (no nudity) in our colonies, because we were sure we were right. And now we are doing the opposite, again because we are sure we are right!
No doubt, both instances of our interference can only be experienced as annoying by the subjects of our benign teachings. But still: Where do you draw the line? Is the promotion of a positive acceptance of homosexuality also a condescending attitude towards indigenous sensitivities? Or is that different, because homosexuality is NOT a choice, whereas nudity such as in this project IS?
I personally find it a rather touching and liberating project, but then, there are question such as: Where does the public display of nudity take place? Where the general public cannot avoid seeing it, or in some secluded place? I find it hard to make up my mind on this.