" Here I am, grasping furiously this hanger which I artificially hold up so that it covers up for few additional precious moments the side A of my vessel."
the final stretch
Not without some difficulty, I end up in underwear and consider my bigotry with irritation. Why so much emotions to arrive in the same configuration than at the beach ?
To approach the last and fateful stretch, I leave my extravagant position to finally look up. I notice that most of the participants are already on the finish line, all in their birthday suit, waiting queuing for the locker room. Driven by the desire to avoid ending up among the visible minority (gregarious instinct, here you are !), I mechanically get rid of my last two capsules of intimacy.
The follow-up of my initiative fall under a non-assumed ridicule. Whereas everyone is waiting serenely to deposit their personal relics, I slip into the crowd while gripping feverishly at my clothes, like a worshipper would hold its rosary. Here I am, grasping furiously this hanger which I artificially hold up so that it covers up for few additional precious moments the side A of my vessel.
And before I know, it’s my turn.
The hostess smiles at me and hold out her hand, to which I will assign all of my personal belongings. I freeze for a second, and without any exterior sign of resistance, I hand her my clothes, my purse and my pride.
I flip over, anesthetized, and head to this group that I now belong, wandering integrally naked in this museum that could be my workplace.
the tour: the nudist experience
Overcome the first five minutes necessary for the brain to realize that it is effectively seing a herd of human beings in an art museum, the experience quickly becomes quite natural. Within a nudist group, the dressed people are the marginal ones. Paradoxically, the tour is also deprived of any sexual nature : eroticism is born in the folds of the Mysterious, and evaporates in the lights of the Ostentatious.
" I enjoy exploring those authentic bodies, ignored by the media. This unretouched silhouettes, enriched by generous vellus hair, voluptuous belly bulges, and filled with scares, those tattoos from life."
" Tied by the resemblance of our bodies and their equal
temperature, we stand as one "
This cathartic visual experience gives soon away to a more tactile dimension : one from the warmth feeling emanating from the other bodies around me. Freed from the walls of our insulating clothing, this natural heat becomes now tangible, and help realizing the presence of the others, as well as giving a practical sense to the concept of social body : tied by the resemblance of our bodies and their equal temperature, we stand as one. This cosy feeling gives also a pleasant note to the proximity of our bodies on this winter evening of this Alpine city.
" It is through my guts, and not behind the window of my Art History classes that I am enjoying the show."
the tour: the esthetic experience
Having already visited the exhibition once at the occasion of curator Eugenio Viola visit a few weeks earlier, I appreciate rediscovering the set up in a whole new context. This time, I am leaving a much more sensory than intellectual experience : it is through my guts, and not behind the window of my Art History classes that I am enjoying the show.
The artworks that catch my attention are also different. During the free part of the visit, I instinctively head for Patricia Piccinini’s « Kindred », a hyperrealistic sculpture representing hybrid beings, halfway between Humans and Animals. Previously perceived as a disturbing creature, I can now better relates to this figure that has been placed in plain sight in a museum, with its dense fur as sole blanket.
Generally, I am much more sensitive to body-related works, such as the two faceless portraits from Vernon Ah Kee, or the serie « Bleeding trees », where the artist Jill Orr stage herself naked in a forest
" Our exchanges are profound, familiar and complicit, as if with the clothes has also fallen the need for small talks."
At the end of the tour, we are all invited to have a drink in the hall, always staying in the same outfit that has now become really confortable. Only the waiters, almost embarrassed by their contrasting gear, are dressed.
I grab a glass of Proseco before joining a group. I am amazed by the quality of our discussions. Adept of deep conversations that one should usually wait until late evening, I am here served from the appetizer. Our exchanges are profound, familiar and complicit, as if with the clothes has also fallen the need for small talks. It is thus with regret that I return to the locker room and put on my four fabric layers before facing the Milanese cold streets
This revealing experience will remain engrave in my mind, but more profoundly in my flesh for a long time. It inspires me to explore more freedom in the aesthetic approach as a curator, but also makes me curious to repeat other nudist experiences. My next exhibition tour will probably seems verry … ballsy !
Indepdent art curator
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