It’s not everyone’s idea of how to spend a fortnight – but for French artist Abraham Poincheval, spending 13 days inside the carcass of a bear is the ultimate artistic performance.
Entitled ‘Dans la peau de l’ours’ (‘Inside the skin of a bear’), the stunt is on at Paris’ Museum of Hunting and Nature, and can be followed live, online.
Visitors are encouraged to talk to the artist or read to him to keep him company.
“I feel that, little by little, I am withdrawing into hibernation, like a bear. Life has slowed down. I sleep a lot,” Poincheval told journalists from inside the bear.
During his 13-day stay, the artist won’t leave his hibernation spot. His food is stashed away inside one of the bear’s legs. He eats, sleeps and even relieves himself inside the bear.
“In fact, the bear includes toilets inside one of the animal’s legs,” said the museum’s director, Claude d’Anthenaise. “I hope it will work because if not, we will have some problems as it has to stay for 13 days.”
The artist’s diet is similar to that of a bear and includes berries, insects, honey and fruit.
“It’s a really long time to stay inside, 13 days eating worms, beetles, disgusting things like that, it must feel weird,” says young Thomas, one of the museum’s visitors.
It’s not the first time the artist has put on the stunt: last year, he conducted the same performance in a museum in southern France, and two years ago, he spent a week in a hole beneath a bookshop in Marseille.
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