Lonely Planet Writer

A French performance artist is entombing himself in a rock before hatching eggs in a glass case

In the latest in a series of grand isolation stunts, French performance artist Abraham Poincheval is set to entomb himself inside a limestone rock for a week at the Palais de Tokyo Contemporary Art Museum in Paris.

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In a piece entitled Pierre (Stone), the Alençon-born artist entered the rock on Wednesday 22 February and aims to stay inside for a week. His body shape has been carved into the centre of the rock and Poincheval will live off a diet of dried meat, pureed fruit and water. There are also air vents that will allow him to breathe.

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Speaking about the project to the AFP, Poincheval said: ‘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.”

His previous performances have included living inside a bear sculpture with beetles and worms as sustenance; crossing France in a straight line; living inside a huge corked bottle on the River Rhine; and standing atop a 20 metre-high platform in Paris.

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Following on from Pierre, the artist will then sit inside a glass case incubating hen eggs at the Palais de Tokyo Contemporary Art Museum for around 21 to 26 days. This second piece, entitled Egg, will see Poincheval eat enough ginger to ensure that his body temperature remains high enough so that he can hatch the eggs. The museum’s curator, Jean de Loisy, called on people regard the performances as mystical journeys. Other artists currently exhibiting at the Palais de Tokyo are Dorian Gaudin, Emmanuel Saulnier, Mel O’Callaghan and Anne Le Troter.

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