While some kids dream of growing up to be an archeologist who looks for fossils inside of rocks, Abraham Poincheval apparently dreamed of growing up to be the fossil. He’s currently sealed inside of a giant rock in a tiny space carved out to fit his seated body. Is it a dream come true for this French performance artist? Eat your heart out, David Blaine!
Poincheval is living inside a 12,000-kg (12-metric-ton) limestone boulder which is on display inside the Palais de Tokyo art museum in Paris in an exhibit he calls “Stone.” He entered the rock on February 22nd and is scheduled to emerge on March 1st. Someone will have to let him know the time is up because the artist is in complete darkness and can hear no sounds other that what penetrates the rock or seeps in through his small breathing holes. The crevice is just big enough for his seated shape with outstretched arms, his food (he’s living on soup, dried meat and water), bottles to hold his urine and feces (he’s hoping the rock absorbs the smell), and a phone to use only in the event of an emergency. Why?
The purpose is to feel the aging stone inside the rock. 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.
The artist said before entering his limestone maiden that his biggest problem would be sleeping, not claustrophobia, and he likened the overall experience to “tripping.” One might wonder whether Poincheval was also under the influence of psychedelics when he came some of his other performance projects. He’s spent 20 days inside a stuffed bear while eating worms and grubs, eight days buried under a rock, a week on top of a 20-meter (65 foot) pole outside a Paris train station and 20 days living underground like a human mole.
Surviving for eight days inside a rock should be the crowning achievement for this artist, right? Wrong! Once he emerges (and no doubt spends some time stretching), Poincheval will begin his new project called “Egg” where he will … live inside an egg? No, he’s already done that in a sense with the rock. The artist will spend between three and four weeks sitting on a dozen carton-free eggs until they hopefully hatch.
Is sitting on eggs the perfect Easter project? Some (who are probably tripping) might suggest a better one where he seals himself inside a chocolate egg and spends three to four weeks eating his way out.
Sound interesting, David Blaine?