The National Gallery in London is inviting voyeurs to see naked women in the bath through a keyhole, as part of artist Mark Wallinger’s exhibition.
Turner Prize-winner Wallinger took to Twitter to find six women, all of whom were called Diana, willing to take turns to be spied upon by the public while they sat naked in a mocked-up bathroom.
The work, also called Diana, is inspired by the three paintings by Titian which form the centrepiece of the exhibition and featured scenes from the Greek mythology.
The paintings tell the story of how the young hunter Actaeon had stumbled upon Diana, the Goddess of the Hunt, bathing naked and was turned into a stag to be torn apart by his own dogs in revenge.
The paintings were part of a series of six works created for King Philip II of Spain in the 16th century and were deemed so racy they had to be covered up with a curtain in the presence of the ladies of the court.
Visitors to the exhibition can look through peepholes, blinds and a keyhole to catch a glimpse of the women, who perform the role of Diana working in two-hour shifts.
“Diana is about watching and being caught in the act and evolved out of my desire to find a way of representing Diana bathing in a contemporary way,” the Telegraph quoted Wallinger as saying.
He said that there were very few rules for what his models could and could not do but they had to behave “suitably goddess-ish.”
The artist, who had hit the headlines when he submitted a film of himself dressed up as a bear to the Turner Prize exhibition, said that he did not consider making a film for this exhibition.
“I wanted a real naked person for people to have that relationship with,” he said.
He also said that finding his real-life Diana’s was difficult, adding: “I did it initially through emails and contacts and then finally Twitter was the key that unlocked it.”
Essex-born Wallinger was one of a group of artists, choreographers and poets who were challenged by the Trafalgar Square gallery to create something inspired by the trio of paintings.
The show, called Metamorphosis: Titian is on at the gallery from Wednesday to September 23.
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