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Death metal band in a Black Box equals performance art

Death metal band in a Black Box equals performance art
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A soundproof metal box and a death metal band called ‘Unfathomable Ruination’.

The group are participants in a unique piece of performance art created by Portuguese artist João Onofre: “This artwork consists of an object and a performance. The object is a replica of Tony Smith’s sculpture called ‘Die’; he’s a North American minimalist, and the performance that we see when the door is open, is a band, a death metal band.”

The band are locked down inside the box and and play until they run out of oxygen.

‘Unfathomable Ruination’ remained boxed for 20 minutes while passers by hear the muffled thrash from inside the black box.

One observer found the work thought provoking: “It’s an interesting artwork, there was something obviously inside that box that was really, really loud, but outside it’s just, kind of, a dull noise amongst lots of other dull noises. “

Another was full of praise: “I thought it was really unique. I’ve never seen anything like that. I felt kind of bad for the band that were stuck inside a box and not being able to breathe, but it was really cool.”

For the band it was a rather hot and sticky experience as drummer Doug Anderson explains: “As soon as you get out it’s quite a relief because it’s so cool. It gets really hot, really, really quickly in there so, the last five minutes were killer.”

The band were really made to suffer for the sake of art.

Doug the drummer continues: “I think that’s one of the things that people overlook the most when they’ve seen it because they just think, oh it’s small, there’s no air. But the space issue is way bigger than all of that put together really. I mean, obviously it’s hard to breathe, but the fact that you have no elbow room, I was literally smacking my elbows every time I did a drum fill or something like that, and the guys’ heads are like touching the ceiling.”

The band will be performing inside the box as part of the ‘Sculpture in the City ‘exhibition, taking place in London throughout the summer.