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Hibernation: Inside of a Bear

Curators’ corner

Hibernation: Inside of a Bear

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Abraham Poincheval’s performance exhibition, Dans la peau de l’ours (“In the skin of a bear”), began on April 1 at the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris, requiring him to live inside the preserved carcass of a bear for approximately two weeks — eating, sleeping and even relieving himself within the confines of the bear’s remains. Though he entered the bear at exactly 11 am on April Fool’s day, this demonstration is no joke.

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The bear was hollowed out by the artist, then repurposed into living quarters with plaster, foam, plywood and tubing, so that all necessary nourishments and waste could be stored within the bear’s legs. The bear’s insides are equipped with an upright chair, rubber exercise bands, a kettle and an assortment of bear-friendly foods —dried fruits, insects and worms — allowing Poincheval the ability to hibernate in the half a square meter confines. While others may find this setup unbearable, Poincheval repeatedly engages in installation work that has him living in confined spaces for extended periods of time. The artist invites you to join him inside the bear via his livestream.

Poincheval will emerge from hibernation on April 13.

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