Rock art: French artist emerges after week trapped inside boulder (VIDEO)
A large crowd gathered at the museum to greet the artist as he emerged from the 12-tonne rock on Wednesday. The 44-year-old described his condition as “a little stunned” as he stepped out of the stone which he thanked for making him feel “so welcome.”
Poincheval had difficulty walking after emerging from the boulder and needed to be helped into a chair before being taken away for a medical examination.
The artist lived in a human-shaped hole in the boulder, with air, water and soup provided through several small openings. He had only a 30-minute break from the enclosure every day.
Inside the stone, Poincheval could barely move his limbs and as he had no way to get rid of excrement he had to store it in the stone. He also had no way to tell the time and only had an emergency phone line.
The performance was entitled ‘Stone’ and Poincheval described it as “an inner journey to find out what the world is.”
The exhibit created quite a stir in the French capital with crowds of people flocking to the Palais de Tokyo to watch Poincheval inside through an infrared camera. The artist told AFP that people read him poetry, played guitar or told him about their dreams and nightmares.
“I am traveling in this rock without moving, like an astronaut,” he said through a gap in the rock during the week. The artist went on to compare the experience to tripping on LSD.
“It’s very complex. You pass from one feeling to another. Like you are being carried away on a raft… It's like tripping. I am trying to explain [the feelings] in language but it is very difficult to put down in black and white.”
Poincheval has built a reputation based on his bizarre art installations. He previously spent two weeks living inside a stuffed bear, 20 days underground living as a human mole and a week on top of a 20-meter pole outside a Paris train station. He has also crossed France on foot in a straight line.
However despite his wealth of experience he said there was times when he “lost himself” in the stone.
“I had the feeling that I was just a particle inside this mineral world,” he explained. “I felt I was a stone at the side of a path and at night I was a much wilder rock.”
For his next performance, entitled ‘Egg’, Poincheval plans to sit on a dozen eggs for approximately four weeks until they hatch.