Urbanudismo started a few years ago when the Argentinian model Avril X (Paula Brindisi) decided to see what would happen if she was to cross a centric avenue. Nude.
Of course there were all kinds of reactions, which were promptly recorded in video, and the action itself was documented through video and photography.
As she wrote on her (no longer active) website, and her (currently active) blog:
"Me despierto recordando el repetido sueño en el que, sin saberlo, salgo desnuda o semi desnuda fuera de casa..." (I wake up remembering the repeated dream in which, unknowingly, I leave home nude or seminude...)
Was this performance art or gratuitous nudity? A short cut to fame or an ethic debate?
Several such "performances" followed in several countries, by Paula and by others who joined her "urbanudismo". Once again her words:
"Busco y encuentro quienes hacen realidad este sueño, se destapan junto a mí y capturan esos momentos y las reacciones que en la gente genera el hecho de ver a alguien haciendo lo mismo, pero sin taparse. Como todos por la ciudad, pero desnudos..." (I seek and I find those who make this dream reality, they bare next to me and they capture those moments and the reactions of people seeing somebody doing the same, but uncovered. Like everyone else in the city, but naked.)
According to the blog, Paula is currently in the process of publishing a book with photos that document the years of Urbanudismo.
As someone who dealt a lot with self-image issues, I really enjoyed seeing Urbanudism develop and evolve. People take for granted our clothes-based society and quite often ignore or forget where we came from, what we are. Nudity makes everyone equal, but put one nude person in a crowd and everyone will turn and stare, disgusted or enjoying but they will look. And that's what makes this kind of performance art relevant. Take the body out of the museum, out the bedroom, out of the shower and out of the doctor's office, lay it there in the middle of the street, under the sun. Most people will ask "why?", but there are some of us who will just say "why not?". If there's anything shocking about what we are, shouldn't we examine ourselves and start embracing the totality of ourselves?
Okay, too much ethics, too much philosophy or psychology. I hope you enjoyed this and all the other entries of my blog.
Urbanudismo in Blogger: http://urbanudismo.blogspot.com