Nothingness 1 - September 2018
The male and female model split up on Poble Nou beach in Barcelona and an assistant came and collected all their belongs (clothes, phones, wallets etc.) - all they were left with was a metro ticket. The assistant was given a 5 minute headstart and then the models started making their way to the pre-agreed meeting point. During this journey the models were completely alone; there was no supporting ‘friend’ nearby with spare clothes. We set the route such it was expected to involve a 20 minute walk and a single stop tube ride.
Sadly the nature of this performance means there are no photos available!
Curiosity was the driver of this performance. Adult websites featuring models naked in public normally have the performers followed by camera crews (as that’s what fits the bill). Our performances have been subtler, but still have always carried reassurance in the form of an assistant with spare clothes nearby.
With Nothingness the performers left themselves completely exposed and vulnerable. One male and one female model performed this simultaneously in the middle of the day, starting on a Spanish beach a couple of hundred metres apart. The assistant removed all possession, except a metro (underground train) ticket from them, and then walked via a direct route to a metro station.
The male and female model waited a few minutes and then set off in opposite directions, one heading north along the beach and the other south. The intention was for both models to walk for around 300m along the beach, before turning onto residential and commercial streets for a 1km walk to a metro station. The models would then attempt to ride the metro for one stop to meet the assistant and their possessions outside another metro station that was in the middle of the two they intended to catch the train at. A quiet location had been chosen in the hope that there wouldn’t be guards on the entrances/exits to the metro – if there were then the performers were on their own and would either need to walk the whole distance or talk the guards into letting them in/out. It was expected that the entire journey would take around 20 minutes.
The best laid plans are always open to ruin. The female performer took the wrong turn off the beach area and ended up walking for some distance down a very busy pedestrianised high street type area. After a few blocks she turned off this onto quieter residential streets and decided to walk straight to the meet point (which was closer) rather than attempt to catch the metro. Despite this she still arrived a few minutes after the male model, and had spent just over 30 minutes completely nude and alone walking the streets. Several people expressed concern, asking the performer is she was ok – this is the first time we have received this reaction (which possibly means our discreet observers aren’t as discreet as we’d like them to be!).
The male performer completed the whole journey, receiving a couple of very positive reactions and one very negative reaction (a passerby in a car shouting at him to return to the beach). There were also a few people/groups who seemingly crossed the street to get out of the path of the male performer. That said the route taken by the male performer was quieter, and whilst he would pass people or vehicles every minute or so it would have been very different to the female performer who, whilst on the pedestrianised high street area, would have been amongst a constant flow of people. The metro ride went smoothly, with the other passengers paying little attention. However, the train pulled into the station as the performer was walking down the platform – the train driver looked very shocked! The doors took a long time to close but fortunately no security was called.
Both performers found the experience very different from the other performances they’d been involved in. Standing up on the beach at the start was hard, as until that point no-one had noticed they were nude. Both models had a difficult and scary moment; the female model when she realised she’d taken a wrong turn and was slightly lost and now on a very busy street (but well done to her for sticking with it for a few blocks!) and the male model when he was seen by the train driver. However, both also found it very exhilarating – there was no artistic aspect and no friends to cloak the nudity so it was an experience that challenged and tested our performers’ confidence and resolve.