Wackjob Artist To Be BURIED IN CONCRETE To Fight Colonial Oppression
Australian performance “artist” Mike Parr plans on burying himself under a road in Hobart, Tasmania because…. well, something about colonialism and the indigenous people of Tasmania. Like the “I’m Helping” meme of Ralph Wiggum, Parr will be “entombed” for 72 hours in a steel container. Because that will establish world peace and social justice and make up for things that happened hundreds of years ago. Somehow.
Mike Parr will be interred in a steel container beneath the middle lane of Macquarie Street. The road will be then resealed and cars will drive over the top of him for the next 72 hours.
But all festival goers will see is him disappear into his box at 9:00pm on June 14 and re-emerge three days later.
“One of the key points of this piece is the anxiety around the artist not being visible,” curator Jarrod Rawlins said.
Mr Parr will be housed in a steel container (4.5m x 1.7m x 2.2m) fitted with a fan-forced air supply.
Inside, the 73-year-old artist will meditate and draw.
He will have with him a sketchpad and pencils, a meditation stool, bedding and some water but no food.
When Mr Parr’s performance ends, his steel chamber and everything in it will be backfilled and the road will be resealed over it.
“Who knows — one day a future generation might end up digging it up and finding out what went on in there,” Mr Rawlins said.
“Underneath The Bitumen The Artist”, Mr Parr’s final work for the festival, is designed to memorialise the transportation of 75,000 British and Irish convicts to Tasmania and the near destruction of Tasmania’s Aboriginal population.
So it’s pretty much like solitary confinement in a prison. Only he knows how long he’ll be in there for. And he returns to freedom when it’s over.
This is hardly Parr’s first stint with doing odd and controversial “performance art”. He has had patterns stitched across his face, hacked up a prosthetic arm with an axe, spent 72 hours in an abandoned insane asylum, sat with his arm nailed to a wall to protest the Australian government’s treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, and once stood under an angled stage with his body underneath to give the illusion that his head had been severed off.
News site The Australian has a pretty thorough synopsis of Parr’s “works” over the years. And I would highly suggest reading the comments on that article.
I guess this qualifies as contemporary art and political progress. Somehow.