French Performance Artist Lives Inside a Lion Statue for a Week

If you’ve never thought interring yourself in an enclosed space for long periods of time could be considered art, then think again.

French performance artist Abraham Poincheval is known for a very… peculiar style of artistry. Specifically, confining himself in things like giant rocks, bear statues, and most recently, a statue of a lion. (One time he tried to hatch chicks by sitting on eggs.) At first, this seems like a bizarre way to go. But when you delve into the absurdity, you’ll start to recognize the Biblical and literary simplicity of it. It calls to mind Jonah, who spent three days inside a giant fish according to one Bible story, or Toru Okada’s time spent trapped at the bottom of a well in Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.

This particular project revolved around a life-size replica of the prehistoric Lion Man, a 35,000-year-old statue that is the oldest known example of animal representation in art. Poincheval claimed that his idea was to link prehistoric and modern art through this presentation. No one knows what the artist aims to do next, so let’s just hope someone keeps a close eye on those Easter Island heads.