Being together in Spencer Tunick's art in a time of self-isolation

Ararat Cüceoğlu E.

The Turkish Online Journal of Design, Art and Communication - TOJDAC, vol.12, no.3, pp.655-665, 2022 (Refereed Journals of Other Institutions)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.7456/11203100/007
  • Title of Journal : The Turkish Online Journal of Design, Art and Communication - TOJDAC
  • Page Numbers: pp.655-665


This study focuses on the “Stay Apart Together” project, which was carried out by photographer Spencer Tunick, who is known for his nude body installations in public spaces with the participation of many people, during the self-isolation period of 2020, which was the most difficult year of the Covid-19 pandemic. Tunick brought together the participants, who were in quarantine in different parts of the world due to the necessity of staying at home, through online conference platforms in “Stay Apart Together”. The participants posed for their own cameras in line with the directions of the artist. Screenshots of various compositions created with the participation of different numbers of people were taken by Tunick and exhibited as a photograph. In this study, it is aimed to discuss the “Stay Apart Together” in the context of “the effect of art on people during the self-isolation period.” For this purpose, the photographs exhibited in “Stay Apart Together” were examined, and the "naked body" phenomenon, which was the focus of Tunick's artistic approach, was discussed within the framework of the "selfisolation and art" unity. In this project, in addition to the naked bodies of the participants; their houses, the room they live in and their belongings are also included in the image. Therefore, this project forms a basis to evaluate the concepts of "private" and "public" in an artistic framework. In this respect, the project has been considered as a practice in which privacy is transformed into an art object. Moreover, the sociological and psychological effects of an online meeting for art held during a deadly epidemic on the participants and the viewers looking at the resulting photographs were investigated. As a result of the information obtained, “Stay Apart Together” has been evaluated as an example of relational art, showing that the structure of art that contributes to “inter-human collectivism” is kept up-to-date. As a matter of fact, “Stay Apart Together” also contributes to the artistic aspect of the global digital transformation and the transforming art experience in the context of bringing the pandemic to life during the most challenging self-isolation period.

Keywords: Covid-19, Self-isolation, Art, Body, Privacy