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St Peter de Beauvoir Town, London, 27 February 2023

10 Mar 2023

It’s a sign of the times: for life models these days it’s not sufficient to spend two hours naked sustaining strenuous physical contortions under the scrutiny of strangers. Now we must also star in promotional videos for social media. Bruce Thomas creates the reels for Adrian Dutton’s groups. When I arrived at St Peter de Beauvoir Town he asked me to think of a song for use as my video soundtrack and tell him at the end. A song? First I had to think of a 5-minute pose followed by fifteen 1-minute poses…

A classic ska track had been looping in my head as I travelled to the venue. It carried on looping throughout the multi-pose start, but not for the life of me could I remember its title. Frustrating! I cleared my mind, reset my body, coiled into a 10-minute stance, then sat on the floor for 20 minutes till the break. A new sound rose within me: ‘Spies in the Wires‘ by Cabaret Voltaire, probably inspired by last week’s documentary on the sinister Pegasus spyware. But this still wasn’t my song.

Freed by the interval, I mellowed with a mug of tea, a modicum of crisps, and a mere twain of custard creams. I meandered round the room admiring so many magnificent works already made. Much socialising, more crisps, then once more to the middle of my space. Two poses would take us to the end: 15 minutes and 20 minutes. I took to my feet for both. And as I did, as I stood there, the music found me… “a sympathetic touch from a voyager soul…”

Innovations precipitated by social media can never change the fundamental basics of life modelling. When you are naked and alone at the centre of a room, surrounded by scores of expectant artists, in that pure moment the work is as it’s been for centuries. That those same artists can now leave tips by card or cash is a nice innovation. I can roll with the rest. I still adore the art, the process, the feeling. I offered Bruce my song: ‘Glitterships‘ by Momus from the album ‘Sunbutler’. Check out the Instagram reel.

And as I walked home I finally got that ska track: Liquidator: The Harry J All Stars.

From → Art

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