An artist will be buried alive under a main street of Hobart for three days as part of MONA’s Dark Mofo festival.
Australian artist Mike Parr will be interred below the bitumen of the middle lane of Macquarie Street in central Hobart.
He will be buried on June 14 and will emerge on June 17.
The artwork, Underneath the Bitumen the Artist, was conceived to “memorialise the victims of 20th century totalitarianism violence”.
The public will be able to witness Parr’s disappearance under the road but after the entombment the road will be returned to its original state.
The anxiety of Parr’s disappearance is the point of the piece.
When Parr exits the container at the conclusion of the performance, concrete will be poured to fuse the chamber and its contents as a time capsule instated for future generations.
This is the third and final work by Parr to be included in MONA’S winter festival, Dark Mofo.
Parr’s work Asylum [Entry by Mirror Only] was commissioned in 2016 at historic Willow Court asylum at New Norfolk.
The work was a 72-hour in-situ performance and a two-week exhibition of Parr’s photographic and film works reflected in a kaleidoscope of mirrors left on the site by more than 10,000 visitors.
In 2017, Parr’s work Empty Ocean was commissioned and hosted at Bruny Island.
Parr was joined by 72 people aged about 70 years old for a one-hour performance pieces in the near-darkness of the morning.
Parr’s contribution to Dark Mofo has been significant, Dark Mofo creative director Leigh Carmichael said.
“We try to present new artists each year, but when Mike Parr asks to be buried under the streets of Hobart, it’s hard to say no,” Mr Carmichael said.
“While initially intrigued by the project, it was only when Mike sent through the artist statement that I began to understand its relationship with Tasmania’s dark history, and comprehend the potential for its impact to resonate for much longer than the festival.”
The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA)’s winter festival Dark Mofo will be held in Hobart on June 15-24. For more information go to https://darkmofo.net.au/
FACTS ABOUT THE ARTWORK
- 72 hour continuous performance
- The artist will be inside a container measuring 4.5m x 1.7m x 2.2m
- Container will be buried a few inches below the road surface
- Road surface will be sealed as if not interrupted
- Traffic will resume as normal, once the artist is interred
- Pedestrian notices will be displayed
- The artist will have a sketchpad and pencils, meditation stool, bedding, water, and other items necessary for survival