Your chance to be naked in a football stadium!

On May 11, as the Premier League draws to a doubtlessly dizzying denouement, there will be more than a few arses on show.

No, not the fine representatives of the Greatest League On Earth; in Vienna’s Ernst Happel Stadion, 2,008 people will be going butt-naked and having their picture taken.

Before you start booking your flights to Austria – in itself, an unusual experience for Brits this summer – it’s not some kind of mad exhibitionist orgy. The revered playground of Strauss and Mozart demands a cultural hook for such an event, and of course wherever there’s naked flesh, there’s a photographer nearby fumbling with his lens-cap and taking ‘arty’ shots.

In this case, yer man with the zoom lens is Spencer Tunick, an American artist with previous in this field – he’s spent the last 20 years photographing hundreds of people with their swingers in the breeze.

Having worked his way up through single nudes at bus stops and scores of them at a school in Dulwich – calm down, Daily Mail readers, it wasn’t like that – he became (in)famous for large-scale arrangements of public nakedness from Melbourne to Montreal to Mexico City, this last attracting a record 18,000 people to bare their wares in the capital city’s principal square.

That’s about the average attendance at the JJB Stadium, but with not a pocket between them to hold their Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls. He’s also persuaded hundreds of Geordies to wander around Newcastle city centre at 4am wearing nothing but a smile, presumably on this occasion without help from the brown ale. But is it art?

Thousands of Mexicans. Not a single sombrero.

"A body is a living entity,” gushes Mr T (not that one). “It represents life, freedom, sensuality. A body is always beautiful to me. In my group works, the only difference is how far people can go if it rains, snows etc.”

But why Austria, and why now (well, May 11)? The eagle-eyed will have noted that 2,008 isn’t a round number, but it is the year we’re in. And this summer Vienna is a host city for some international football tournament or other, apparently co-hosted with Switzerland (a curious co-host, considering they’ve spent so long declaring their independence and neutrality).

Accordingly, Tunick has been commissioned by culture vultures Osterreich Am Ball [Austria has the Ball] to mark the occasion with a nice piccie, or, as he puts it, “to capture and combine the spirit of sports, the grand sweeping waves of stadium architecture and the abstract relation of the human form to modern structures.” And some bollies and boobies, obviously.

Interested? Sign up here.

Details are sketchy at the moment, except that each participant will be asked to bring a football – which could come in handy for covering your modesty in case of a last-minute embarrassment attack. However, it’s made very plain that unlike football, this is no spectator sport: only participants will be allowed inside the stadium.

So if you want to be in the snaps, you must be out of your slacks. And for one of the more interesting experiences you can have inside a football stadium, it might well be worth it. Let’s be honest, it can’t be any worse than watching the Sky Sports cameras lovingly zoom in for grisly close-ups of the agonised features of Gary Megson, Steve Coppell or Avram Grant.

Topics