Australian artist Mike Parr, 73, is spending 72 hours in a small metal container embedded under the tar on Macquarie Street in Hobart.
After Parr climbed into the container yesterday, the road was resealed above him and reopened to traffic.
His ‘tomb’ is, however, being fed oxygen.
This will be his third performance at the annual Dark Mofo arts festival in the city.
The performance is titled ‘Underneath the Bitumen the Artist’, and it’s billed as a work ‘conceived to memorialise the victims of 20th century totalitarian violence in all its ideological forms, including the shadow cast by the genocidal violence of 19th century British colonialism in Australia.’
A spokesman for the festival said Parr was ‘an endurance performance artist and he’s been doing this for years’. The organisers were therefore not concerned about his safety.
However, he is being monitored by cameras, and can be removed if necessary.
Parr will spend the 72 hours fasting, meditating, reading and sketching.
Asked what the toilet facilities were, the spokesman said there ‘is a bucket down there’. But Parr will not eat while underground, and will drinks only a limited amount of liquids.
The artist’s previous work includes sewing his lips together, holding his fingers in a flame and pushing tacks into a leg.
He’ll be removed at 9pm on Sunday after which concrete will be poured over the container to embed it and its contents beneath the street as a time capsule.