On 1st of March, a french artist Abraham Poincheval was freed from a block of stone in a Paris museum Palais de Tokyo after spending seven days enclosed in it. That’s not the first time performer isolates himself in an unexpected object. What inspires the artist and what’s the meaning of his static journeys?

 A Static Journey: Why Abraham Poincheval Spent 7 Days In A Rock


Pierre, 2017

Living in a rock (fr. Pierre) for a week was not simple. Poincheval was eating stewed fruit and purees. The rock was equipped with an air vent and personal items such as a log book. And that’s, basically, all. The artist had no possibility to change his position and he never went out. On the one hand, Poincheval plunged into a sort of limitless meditation. On the other, the artist explored his physical and mental limits. “Yes, there were very long moments of loss of self, where suddenly (…) you no longer know where you are, but you are there, and that is what was great” – he comments.

A Static Journey: Why Abraham Poincheval Spent 7 Days In A Rock


Previous Experience

Living in a shut cramped space, being almost disabled is his method to understand better the human nature.The Rock is not the first time Abraham Poincheval isolates himself. In 2014 he has already spent 14 days in a bear in Musée de la chasse et de la nature (Museum of Hunt and Nature). In summer 2016 he lived in a 6-meters bottle, which was being transported from one town to another along the Rhône.

Apparently, what seems absurd to us, the artist takes seriously. He explains his performances as something that appears totally crazy to most of us. However, it is absolutely natural for him. Why?

A Static Journey: Why Abraham Poincheval Spent 7 Days In A Rock


From Science to Art

He grew up in a detached community in the countryside. That was a perfect environment to start practicing sophrology, which is a study of the consciousness in harmony. It is a  healthcare philosophy made of very practical physical and mental exercises aiming at a prepared mind in a focused body.

Interesting, how performative sophrology could be in big cities. Using a metaphor to shape his personal certainties and practice results, Abraham Poincheval became an artist. «My work is to be attentive to the Universe, where I live.» – he tells Le Figaro.

 A Static Journey: Why Abraham Poincheval Spent 7 Days In A Rock

Futur Projects

For the first time in his research, Abraham Poincheval is going to work with living nature. To be precise, to create a piece of one. Starting from 29th of March the artist will be breeding. He will install himself in a vivarium vitrine-like space – again in Palais de Tokyo Museum, Paris – and will sit on the eggs until the chickens hatch. «I want to do humanly what animals do» – he explains. Chickens, breeden by artist, would join Poincheval’s family at the farm.

Recently, Plais de Tokyo published a book about Abraham Poincheval, written by Thomas Schlesser and Adélaïde Blanc. It Is billingual and can be purchased online.

A Static Journey: Why Abraham Poincheval Spent 7 Days In A Rock

Candid Of Our Time

Every object or space the artist uses in his performances enable him to make an interior journey and literally try one’s skin. Poincheval compares himself to Candid, who wanted to find out what’s the world like by exploring it.

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