French Artist Buries Himself in a Tiny Hole for Seven Days, to Read

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.

Photo: Gerard Julien/AFP

When the 604,800 seconds of his unique artistic experiment were up, Abraham’s hermit cave opened up and he was allowed out. “It was pretty magical when the stone was lifted and I was again struck by the outside, the reality above ground,” he told AFP. It was a challenging experience and his sore swollen legs were the best proof of that. “It was a real trip, not of a cosmonaut but rather of a “terronaut””, he said, adding that “the conscious and unconscious mixed, it was pretty incredible”. He also made sure to mention that he finished all the books he took with him underground.

Photo: Gerard Julien/AFP

This isn’t Abraham Poincheval’s first unusual experiment. He has previously embarked on a journey from the city of Nantes to Metz in a straight line, using a compass, ignoring all obstacles in his way. In Spain he spent 20 days digging a tunnel through which he moved like a mole, and in Italy he pushed a 70kg capsule up mountain roads.


Sources: L’Express, Direct Matin

Posted in Art, News        Tags: , , , , , ,