A Belgian artist Mikes Poppe chained himself to a block of marble to show the “inescapable burden of history” from which artists cannot escape, was unable to free himself and had to be cut loose after 19 days. In a performance that lasted 438 hours, Mikes Poppe attached himself to a three-metre (10ft) chain buried in the middle of a block of marble in the courthouse of the Belgian coastal city of Ostend. (see video below)
Poppe, who ate, slept, washed and drew while chained, worked to liberate himself by chiselling away the stone towards the chain, but eventually had to be cut free.
“This block was symbolic of history, the history of art, which I am trying to free myself from. I discovered that this is not possible. It is burden which I must always carry,”
Entitled De Profundis, Poppe’s performance was part of a larger exhibition “The Raft, Art is (not) lonely” at Mu.ZEE and was live-streamed online. With its roots in artistic experimentation a century ago and made famous by German artist Joseph Beuys in the 1970s, performance art combines visual art with drama.