On Wednesday French artist Abraham Poincheval gingerly emerged from an Abraham Poincheval-shaped hole in a 12-tonne limestone rock. He had been there for a week.
The performance piece, entitled Pierre (Stone), had Mr. Poincheval sitting in the dark inside a rock with only water, soup and dried meat for sustenance. Air flowed through small holes in the rock. His only sense of time was gleaned from the muffled sounds of museum activity.
This is not the first time Mr. Poincheval has pushed his emotional and physical limits in isolation: He spent a week in an oversized glass bottle in 2015, nearly two weeks in a bear carcass in 2014, and has lived outdoors on top of a 20-metre pole. He also spent a week reading... in a hole under a bookstore. For the artist, enclosure is actually a way to explore the world.
"We are already locked into our own bodies," he told Agence France Presse before entering the boulder. During his performance he compared his experience to "tripping": "It's very complex. You pass from one feeling to another. Like you are being carried away on a raft." While he found it disconcerting to be unsure of the time of day and his own sleep cycle, Mr. Poincheval was moved by the visitors who came by to talk at him through a crack in the rock.
The next part of the artist's solo show at Palais de Tokyo in Paris will take about a month--he will be hatching hen's eggs inside a display case in Oeuf (Egg).
Although much of his art involves being trapped in tight places, his biggest dream is very different: for the last five years he's been working on a way to walk on clouds.