Photographer Spencer Tunick is known for his large-scale art installations, featuring anyone brave enough to shuck their clothes and pose nude in public alongside plenty of strangers. Tunick’s latest project, “Everything She Says Means Everything,” took place Sunday morning outside the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. The installation, which Tunick and his team also documented, featured 100 naked women holding disc-shaped mirrors, designed to “[reflect] the knowledge and wisdom of progressive women and the concept of ‘Mother Nature’ into and onto the convention center, cityscape, and horizon of Cleveland.”
Of course, the female body and its rights are a hotly contested battleground in this year’s elections, with the Republican platform veering ever further toward anti-choice legislation. Donald Trump’s VP pick, Mike Pence, has a reprehensible record when it comes to women’s reproductive rights, even going so far as to try and deny federal funding to Planned Parenthood. The question is whether or not Tunick’s message will be received by its intended recipients the way it was meant — or, for that matter, at all.
On the other hand, does it really matter? Esquire.com’s Kate Storey talked to a number of the women involved in the project, and they all had different reasons for being there: some avowedly anti-Trump, and some more on the spectrum of nudity as liberation, or protest in and of itself. One woman said, “I’m here because I’m a trans woman and we’re not supposed to like our bodies and I don’t like that. It’s going to be great! I’m very antsy; it’s like Christmas morning.” Whatever the participants’ reasons were for signing up, it sounds like everyone probably had a good time doing it. Sometimes, that’s more than reason enough.