Performance art

Down under: Australian artist Mike Parr buries himself under a road for 72 hours

Veteran performer's tribute to victims of totalitarian violence is part of Dark Mofo festival in Hobart

The Australian artist Mike Parr has literally gone underground for his latest 72-hour performance, being buried beneath the surface of a busy road in central Hobart, Tasmania, at 9pm on Thursday 14 June. The tarmac was resealed for traffic to pass above the steel container where Parr has been entombed, with a sketchbook and pencils, a meditation stool, bedding and water—but no food. After he re-emerges at 9pm on Sunday 17 June, concrete will be poured into the chamber.

The work, titled Underneath the Bitumen the Artist, was conceived in memory of the victims of 20th-century totalitarian violence and 19th-century British colonialism in Australia. It is the artist’s third and final 72-hour performance for the Dark Mofo winter festival run by the Museum of Old and New Art. “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,” said the festival’s creative director Leigh Carmichael in a statement. H.M.