French artist starts fortnight inside bear

Abraham Poincheval beside his bear at the Hunting and Wildlife Museum in Paris Poincheval's piece has been described as "a liberating choice between human nature and animal nature"

A French artist has begun an artistic performance that will see him spend 13 days living inside a hollowed-out bear.

Abraham Poincheval first performed Dans La Peau de l'Ours - Inside the Skin of the Bear - at the CAIRN Centre for Contemporary Art in Digne last year.

He is now reprising the piece at the Hunting and Wildlife Museum in Paris, where he will remain until 13 April.

Poincheval previously spent a week in an underground hole beneath a bookshop in Marseilles in October 2012.

According to the Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature, Poincheval is a performance artist "familiar with extreme situations".

The performance piece will see him eat, drink, sleep and relieve himself within a man-made chamber, housed within the sterilised carcass of a bear, while being filmed by two cameras.

Abraham Poincheval beside his bear at the Hunting and Wildlife Museum in Paris Poincheval inspects the inside of his bear on 31 March...
Abraham Poincheval climbs inside his bear at the Hunting and Wildlife Museum in Paris ...before demonstrating how he will climb inside it

According to information released last year, Poincheval was inspired by animal carcasses he encountered while performing another piece in the French Alps.

"For him this act signifies a rebirth, a rite of passage, to pass from the world of the dead to that of the living," that press release continued.

Born in Alencon in Normandy in 1972, Poincheval now lives and works in the Southern city of Marseilles.

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