Dublin Docklands, Ireland
June 21 and 22, 2008

Spencer held two installations in Dublin - the larger on the 21st and a smaller one
(around 120 participants) on the 22nd of June.
Both are documented here.
Stephane writes:

Dublin was my 10th installation with Spencer and probably the most surreal one.

Friday I had dinner with Spencer and Jonathan, and Spencer explained his plans for 3 setups on a drawing (of course I kept it). The next day my friend Peter and I took a taxi from the hotel to arrive very near the site. Because it is difficult for me to walk long distances, Spencer organized for the taxi to park next to the 3rd site. We went under the cherry picker and waited there talking to the crew, after a few hundred people - already naked - had gone by, Jonathan gave us the signal to go and stay on the left side of the pier. At that time I had already noticed that a few people must have spent the night at the pubs, there was a lot of joking - some fun, some just silly. When Spencer gave the instructions it was difficult for some people to follow them, they were very rowdy and Spencer had to repeat and even beg for them to do what he wanted, it delayed the installation a lot, I had not seen such unruly crowd since Lyon.

The two fun occurances were the big ferries passing by and the two birds flying over us... we were all hoping they would not decide to poo!!!!!

The 3 different positions were "classic" Tunick positions. I want to thank some people who helped me get up after each pose, just like in Vienna people were very friendly.

When the rain began to come down heavily, I was happy the second setup was cancelled, I did not get dressed but put on a heavy wool bath robe I had brought from Brussels, and Peter and I took refuge in our (heated) taxi to wait for Spencer to prepare for the third setup. When everybody ran to the beach I wanted to stay out of the water, but Jonathan told me where he wanted us to go - my feet were ankle deep in the water and I could not control my body from shaking. I don't remember having been that cold since my military duty 52 years ago. 

The atmosphere was great fun and friendly but I was so happy when it ended and I could go back to the taxi. I continued shaking for 20 minutes. I returned to my hotel naked under my robe with my clothes in the plastic bag, ready for the longest hot shower of my life.

There was a man in a wheelchair and I wanted him to know how much I admired his courage; looking at him reminded me I should never complain about little aches and pains at my age (72) and a titanium rod bracing 8 vertebrae. I feel alive and well.

I love Spencer's experiences, so liberating, we are all alike: old and young, fat or thin, man or woman.
Thank you Spencer, you are a great artist and a great person.

From Michael

What can I say? I am delighted I did it, and any concerns I had disappeared as soon as I met up with some complete strangers in Dublin, with whom I went for drinks before hand. The idea of meeting complete strangers in Dublin at midnight to go for drinks and then go and get naked is rather odd. But everyone felt the same and soon we were all chatting about the installation and ourselves, and a sense of anticipation developed. 

When we came out and saw the long line of buses outside Custom House it seemed incredible and as we got down to the queue and saw the huge mix of people in the crowd, I felt much less apprehension. Waiting for the sun to rise over Dublin bay was fantastic and everyone seemed to be chatting with everyone and just waiting for it to start, people were quizzing each other on the poses we were asked to memorise.

When the announcement came at 5am for everyone to get naked it seemed to take seconds until there was a sea of bare white flesh. Then the slow long walk to our spots. Spencer had told us that we would be furthest away on the first setup as we had to go right to the end of the pier, but that we would be closest at the second setup. But typical Irish weather scuppered those plans. So here I was naked in front of hundreds of complete strangers, as we slowly picked our way over the granite blocks and the cold started to bite much to my shame. 

When we got to our positions there was a very long wait as the very large crowd was organised. Asides from a few people close by, few people complained too loudly about it as couples huddled together to try and keep warm. Apart from the cold there seemed to very little self-consciousness being displayed, with a few people close by relishing in their nudity and keeping the crowd entertained with their humour. The mooning of the ferries was classic and the comments of "is that the same ship" as at least 5 ferries came into port. I can only imagine the comments on board as people got their first view of Ireland. Then the poses started and i can tell you that it is a very cold wind that blows in off the irish sea.

The walk back to our clothes was a lot less formal as the walk down, with people bunching together no one caring that they were naked any more. Nudity and cold are great levellers and as someone piped up "this is why naturism will never be big in Ireland". People chatted with complete strangers and I met some fantastic people. For me, who would have been self conscious before hand and was wondering how I could suck my gut in for the period of the shoot, as soon as I was naked it seemed to evaporate with everyone else's clothes. It was a life affirming moment when I saw that everyone else was just the same as me - young and old, all shapes and sizes on display and no one caring. 

The first setup must have taken 45 minutes and a lot of people had had enough so were going to head home but I was here for the long haul so I stuck it out. As we got dressed many others were of the same opinion as me. 

We were directed to walk down towards the second setup and as we did the dreaded rain came and this proved to much for the undecided people and as word spread that the second setup was cancelled my heart sank a little. But spencer asked if there would be any interest in a mystery setup which was to be ankle deep in the sea and a loud call went up to just do it. I got separated from the guys I had been with in the crowds and as I looked around, I spotted a women I had chatted to on the first setup. I asked her if she was staying and she said she hadn't planned to until I asked her, so now she wasn't sure. Two more ladies came along who were also heading but they stopped and decided to stay as well. So we walked towards the end of the pier and saw how far the water was out, resolve started to disappear. 

But when we reached the beach no instructions to get naked were required as everyone frantically ripped clothes off and then ran into the sea. This was one of the best parts of the event for me, as around 500 people frolicked naked in the water, people doing star jumps as directed by the assistants, and everyone breaking into choruses of "Ole Ole". The setup itself was fantastic and  cheers went up as it was over as everyone splashed back out and ran for their clothes. The ultimate moment for me was when the ladies thanked me for not letting them go, as they said they would have regretted not doing it.

Overall it was fantastic and if Spencer ever comes back I will definitely do it again, or maybe even travel to a warmer climate.
The spirit of friendship and camaraderie made this old cynic believe in human nature again and appreciate what I have and what I look like. I am definitely a happier person because of it and it was a morning well spent.

From Jim

Hi everyone, I attended the shoot in Dublin in the early hours of this morning, it was an amazing experience. About a thousand participants were hoped for but it looked more like three thousand or more, the atmosphere was wonderful and all were in high spirits unfortunately the Irish weather made things very difficult as it was very cold and then halfway through we got torrential rain. I'll treasure the memory and I hope I get to have another go as Spencer said that he planned to return.
Thank you for giving me this forum to share the experience.

From Eddie

What an experience. I stripped naked with 2700 other brave souls in a cold windy and eventually wet midsummer morning on the South Wall at Dublin Port. The South Wall extends out to sea and next stop is Wales so we were somewhat exposed.

But what a crowd. While naked and waiting for the instructions, the crowd started a spontaneous Mexican wave. I could only think to myself where else would 2700 naked people think about doing a Mexican wave to pass the time. My next abiding memory is the arrival of the port traffic in the form of 2 ferries from the Uk. They passed within a few hundred metres of the South Wall and what a sight  must have greeted those passengers. For those on their first trip to Ireland, I reckon they will never forget that greeting, and the guy doing the naked cartwheels along the wall.

The first setup comprised 3 positions: 1 - standing looking out to sea, 2 - sitting back sunbathing and 3 - the foetal position where we hugged the granite for some warmth, such was the chill in the air.

Then the rain came, it chucked it down and the second setup on the wall was abandoned and replaced by an impromptu dash into the sea and 2 poses, one facing the camera and another looking away out to sea, both with heads bowed. One participant actually sang "Singing in the Rain" and the crowd took it up. A lovely moment shared by all which will remain with me long long after the ripples in the sea have disappeared. Sandymount Strand will never be the same. I'm sure James Joyce would approve.

To say I enjoyed the experience simply does not go far enough. It was the most exhilirating, exciting, challenging and fun filled night I have ever experienced, bar none. To the people I  met on the night, particularly Elizabeth from Dublin City centre, Maureen from Toronto, Mick and Emer all the way from Waterford a big hello, and my old friend Brian without whom I might not have done it. 

Dolly writes:

I'm 39 and a half weeks pregnant and did the saturday and sunday shoot with my boyfriend... as most people seem to be saying, the highlight was running (well, in my case, wobbling!) into the sea, wet, cold but totally exhilarated! 

Sunday's one wasn't quite the same, with so few people in comparison. Weirdly enough, kissing your partner for a few minutes for a camera is not really much of a turn on, I preferred when we hugged. Although we got most of our amusement from the gay couple we shared the apartment balcony with, the minute they got their clothes off (about 15mins before the actual shoot) they were all over each other, and constantly had to be told by one of the staff not to touch the bed/chairs/table/any surface as the apartments are completely fitted out with furniture, bed linen etc. for renting!) One of the guys kept wiggling his ass while kissing his boyfriend, and with there being no extra space between us all, it meant he was wiggling it back into my bum too!

So glad I managed to get to do it, was hoping so much that my baby wouldn't arrive before I got the chance to be a part of this!!! 

Photo © Globalgirl3000

From Linda

Saturday morning has pretty much been covered by others - the beach shot made the whole experince worth while - no contest. I was buzzing after it...

I was thrilled to get an invite to Sunday's morning installation. It was much calmer and much more perosnal, Spencer was chatty and happy to answer questions. It was held in a new apartment building on Pearse St. opposite Grand Canal Sqaure - such luxury!

We were divided into couples and singles. First shot was couples hugging and kissing - alas I did not see this one. Second shot was groups of 3 or 4 people on each balacony - took 5 mins and then back into the lovely warm apartment.

Third shot was all the girls on the roof of the building. A rainbow appeared and there was a mad scramble as we all took our clothers off and ran onto the roof. Spencer took a few snaps, moved us about from one side of the balcony to the other. At one stage he was asking some girls to move closer to each other and he said "I'm trying to cover up some wood here" (floor was a wooden deck like surface) that was funny and he knew it!

As we made our way back downstairs we were scolded by Paul "girls put some clothes on, its cold out" More humor from the Tunick crew... I liked it.

Sunday was fun but didn't have the exhiliarting feeling I got from the beach shot - but then again it was more personal. I'd do it again regardless of weather - anything for that exhiliarting feeling. I think the cold and rain may have added to the Saturday experience - Sunday was just too easy...

Alistair writes:

This morning I attended the second instalation with Spencer. We gathered in an up market part of the Docklands. The weather was really bad again so Spencer took us back to his hotel for a briefing. We then went to a unoccupied luxury appartment block near by. Eight of us were put in each apartment and told to go out on to the balcany when instructed, this was bliss - a nice warm apartment to wait in until Spencer was ready. We got undressed and went out in a howling gale, did two postions and went back in and that was it. The ladies had a chance to go onto the roof for one last set up but I dont know how many took him up on his offer.

I have to say how very friendly Irish people are, its been a pleasure to be here.

Photo © Globalgirl3000

From Dermot

I was very excited to learn Spencer was coming to Ireland, having observed his work for some years.  Booked Blarney and Dublin but seriously regret I could not travel to Cork for Blarney event, which looked beautiful, serene and fun. However, Dublin happened and, yes, it was good.  Had visited site Friday lunchtime in the sunshine and wondered if anything was likely to happen at all - nothing there!!  But by 3am, wow, what organisation. 

Easy getting to South Wall and then a long wait in good company, instructions via barely audible PA and word passed along the line.  (South Wall built by Capt William Bligh of HMS Bounty fame in mid 1700s!!). Sun creeping over neck of Howth Head, very dramatic, great camaraderie, mother and daughter shared their coffee with me, and then, at 4.50, the word from Spencer - "get your clothes off now - everything".  No inhibitions anywhere, just do it, all good humoured and then the walk towards the lighthouse on the cold flagstones as the wind crept up from the east. One great mass of nakedness heading towards the lighthouse and the sea beyond.  Who else could have imagined it except Spencer Tunick!!

Plenty of chill time as lines for four formed for set up 1, and the ships passed by - passengers must have wondered what in hell is going on here?? Then the call to face the sunrise (by then becoming cloud obscured), then the chilling prospect of poses 2 and 3 on the ground. All great fun, good hunoured and worth the experience.  Only one very, very slim lady succumed to the elements and left.  The rest: thrilled to be naked together looking at the sun coming up over Dublin.  An hour had passed and time to get dressed and ready for set-up 2, but then the rain began to spill from the Irish Sea.   Set up 2 abandoned as more and more decided enough was enough, and headed home.  As we passed the camera hoist, and the rain came heavy and cold, Spencer extolls us to hang around for one last shot on the beach.  Yes, no?  Stay or go? Yes, no? It was "go" - home that is.

Then at the last minute by the beach, a very beautiful and naked lady says "you're not going to miss this are you?" .  What the hell, it was stay.  So peeled off, joined the running, shouting, laughing, excited rush to the beach.  Wahhhhhh, this was it.  500 beautiful naked bodies splashing around on the beach, wet, cold but what the hell.  It was partytime.  Splashing, laughing, jumping, dancing, singing - Spencer we love you and thank you.  Ole, ole, ole sings out. Catharsis!  Spencer calls for a pose:  heads bowed, face the sea, heads down, stay calm, dont look to camera.  Feet warming as they sink into the sand, cold and rain forgotten.  Then done and one big cheer, mass rush back up the beach, ovation for Spencer, clapping, cheering as he thanks us from his camera podium.  It was done, it as fun, it was once.  He had come, he had created, he had moved all 2500 of us.  Spencer, we love you.   Please come again.  We promise next time there will be no rain, no cold, but thousands more people to make art and have fun with you.  Promise!!

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