How far would you go to find some peace and quiet for a nice read? French artist Abraham Poincheval stayed buried for a whole week in a tiny underground hole in the underpinning of a Marseille bookstore, with books as the only company.
On September 20, Abraham Poincheval began his unique performance, aptly entitled 604,800 seconds. Equipped only with a headlamp, some water, freeze-dried food, a camera and most importantly a small stack of books selected by the booksellers at the “Histoire d’un Jour” bookstore, he descended into a 62cm-wide and 1.7m-deep shaft dug in the underpinning of the Marseille venue. The size of the hole meant he couldn’t sit or stand up, making the claustrophobic experiment all the more difficult. He was covered with a stone lid and started enjoying his seven days separated from the outside world by reading. During all the 604,800 seconds he remained buried under the bookstore, Abraham filmed everything he did (which obviously wasn’t much, since he could hardly move), and the images were projected on the walls of the bookstore/gallery. He also stayed in touch with civilization via a microphone and speaker, which helped him communicate with visitors.