Sean Robertson is one of the models for Daniel Knorr’s The Naked Corner, an installation of nearly-nude models with branded slogans written on them that can be seen from Renshaw street. He writes about his experiences and the reactions he’s received.
The requirement to wear plain, unbranded underwear for my spell in Daniel Knorr’s Naked Corner, caused a dilemma, which lead to me ironing a pair of boxers for the very first time! Well it was a Sunday, so I had to look my best.
After choosing a slogan, “Vorsprung Durch Technic”, I was painted up and like a thousand mannequins before me taken to my shop window. Following a quick chat with the previous performer, I was left to watch the comings and goings on Renshaw Street, and for the comers and goers to watch me of course.
I’ve stood alone, and naked, on Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth (One & Other, Antony Gormley 2009) but this felt very different, being on street level meant I was very close to the audience, and most of those didn’t know I was going to be there until they were 6 feet away.
The reactions were mixed: children pointing; middle-aged Germans who read the slogan and took it all very seriously; families who thought it all a laugh; or families where the father looked back for a little too long…; some people smiled, and some ignored the whole thing; a woman stopped her car, took a photo and shouted “you’ve made my day”; a war veteran gave me a thumbs-up; a group of teenagers, stood and studied, but declined the invitation to take part; girls headed into town for a drink; lads heading home with their shopping.
At 6pm, my time was up, time to leave the window empty for the night; time to get dressed and walk into the street; time to become just another face in the crowd. But time goes quickly and I’ll be back “Be seeing you”