|Pic: courtesy The Guardian|
Best place for him, you are probably thinking. Shame it wasn't under a quiet road out in the bush then there would have been less disruption to traffic while they excavated the hole, inserted the steel box (and the reclusive gentleman) and then replaced the surface leaving but a slender air-pipe to keep him alive.
Why do such a thing?
According to organisers of Dark Mofo, the artist’s stay underground is a “response to 20th-century totalitarian violence in all its forms”.I'm sure that all of us, other than dictators wearing silly uniforms, will agree that we are all dead against 20th-century totalitarian violence. Actually, I am prepared to go one step further and hereby proclaim my total rejection of 21st-century totalitarian violence as well. I'm also (and here I know I am so far ahead of my fellow artists that it will be years before my genius is recognised) not at all happy about 18th-century absolutist violence and don't get me started on certain murky goings-on in the later part of the Bronze Age.
Practitioners of 20th-century totalitarian violence are, doubtless, cowering in their bunkers and preparing their monorails for an emergency getaway before our man is hauled up on a freezing Hobart night in front of a vast cheering crowd and starts his encore (I don't know, putting a bag over his face for ten minutes as a response to the price of chewing gum, or something).
What will he be doing whilst underground in total darkness and the buses and trucks rumble overhead?
meditating, drawing, fasting and reading Robert Hughes’s The Fatal Shore.OK, so not in total darkness. And not in total discomfort as we also learn that a small heater and a thermos (contents not specified) were taken in before the tarmac went back on. So just a long lie-down really. Well, we can all do that. Last night I spent some eight hours lying on my back in near-total darkness with only my wife for company. I fasted for the whole of this period without even the comfort of a well-filled thermos. This morning I ate two slices of toast with marmalade to indicate my total rejection of religious discrimination in 13th-century Spain and drank a cup of tea to indicate my solidarity with the struggles of the Aztec peoples to be free to cut out the hearts of anyone they didn't like very much. Turner prize, here we come.