Aug. 3, 2011
From 7 am to 7:05 am on Monday morning, Wall Street was full of naked people. Fifty men and women, to be precise -- all of them participants in Ocularpation: Wall Street, a site-specific happening conceived by artist Zefrey Throwell to "dress down" the nation’s commercial capital: “Wall Street, exposed,” in his words.
Seconds before the clock struck the hour, Throwell’s ladies and gents appeared to be everyday dawn-greeters, from street-sweepers to gym buffs to busybody assistants, carrying brooms or weights, bedecked in suits and chatting into headsets -- but, suddenly, trousers started dropping like flies. One woman and two men dressed (momentarily) as a stock trader, a janitor and a dog-walker, let it all out a bit too close to some police officers stationed by the NYSE, and were immediately arrested, brought into a nearby precinct and given a summons for “disorderly conduct” before eventually being released. The other 46 actors in the mass-intervention -- orchestrated by the 35-year-old artist, himself present for the affair -- had their duds back on by 7:05 and resumed business as usual.
Only a few lucky early birds, including a handful of tourists -- electrified by the sassy display and squawking Midwestern exclamations of surprise while eagerly snapping photos -- caught a live glimpse of the action. Before you could blink, it was over; the nudies were clothed again and on their various ways, probably headed to real jobs -- or to a phone booth to change.
Herewith, a slideshow of shots from the showdown.