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French Performance Artist Seals Himself Inside a Giant Stone for Eight Days

Abraham Poincheval is no stranger to daring performance art, but his latest project is probably the toughest one yet. The French artist will spend eight straight days sealed in a human shaped hole carved out inside a giant boulder. The purpose of this unusual performance – “to find out what the world is”.

On February 22, 2017, 45-year-old Poincheval was sealed in this carved out stone sarcophagus at Paris’s Palais de Tokyo gallery, where he will allegedly spend eight straight days, until March 1st. His temporary prison, a large boulder split in two with just enough room to fit the artist’s body in sitting position, and enough food and water to keep him in good physical condition over his eight days of isolation. His only connection to the outside world is a ventilation duct that keeps him from suffocating in the tight space.

“The purpose is to feel the aging stone inside the rock,” told media reporters. “There is my own breathing, and then the rock which lives, still humid because it was extracted not so long ago from the quarry. So there is that flow, that coming and going, between myself and the stone.”

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French Artist to Live inside Grizzly Bear Carcass for Thirteen Days

Abraham Poincheval, a performance artist from France, specializes in confining himself to the smallest possible spaces for long periods of time. A couple of years ago, he spent a whole week buried in a tiny underground hole in a bookstore, with just a pile of books for company. Now he has fashioned a new task for himself – he’s spending nearly a fortnight (1 to 13 April) crammed inside the carcass of a grizzly bear, in a space measuring only half a square meter. He won’t be coming out at all, not even to eat, drink, sleep or relieve himself. Two cameras will be on him at all times, recording the whole experience.

The bear itself was excavated by Abraham and has been partly reconstructed to support the project, using plywood, plaster, foam and polystyrene tubes. The bizarre installation is completely covered with the bear’s original skin and fur. When empty, the entire structure weighs 115 pounds. Inside it is a semi-upright chair on which the 42-year-old artist will be spending all his time. Rubber exercise bands will help him get some movement and he has some room by his feet for a stretch. There’s also a kettle and an odd assortment of foods that only a bear could appreciate – frozen dried fruits, insects and worms. Too bad the bear isn’t Winnie the Pooh, or Abraham could have had some honey as well.

Abraham-Poincheval-bear

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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.

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