Sydney, Twinned with Kandor
Friday Ephemera

Beats Standing

Brace yourselves, dear readers, it’s art news time. Today we marvel at the searing brilliance of the French performance artist Abraham Poincheval, who, as I type, resides in the belly of a bear. Or rather, in the hollowed-out carcass of a bear, one that’s currently situated in the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Paris. Mr Poincheval is, we’re told, re-enacting “a powerful sensitivity” and “profound symbolism,” one that “still grips the Western world’s imagination today.” It’s a “communion” that will “inevitably bring him to a state of profound meditation.” He’s “confounding the boundaries between man and animal.” How so, you ask? 

Just like the mammal during the winter months, Poincheval remains within a small enclosure, keeping with him all the basic things he might need to survive throughout the weeks spent inside; food, water, activities and even a place to relieve himself… By residing within the species, Poincheval aims to understand his own physical limits and experience animal nature, a symbolic image of the ‘inside out’ of a bear during hibernation. 

Mr Poincheval began his immense artistic feat on April 1 and hopes to make it through two weeks of, um, “residing within the species” and “experiencing animal nature,” albeit with pillows and electric lighting, amenities and distractions, and a kettle on hand. There is, of course, a live feed for the benefit of aesthetes unable to make it to Paris

I urge you to tune in. It’s gripping stuff.