French artist Abraham Poincheval – who has already spent two weeks living inside a stuffed bear – plans to commune with the humble chicken for his latest performance stunt.
How? By incubating 10 eggs with his own body heat.
He will live inside a glass vivarium until his charges hatch, watched by visitors to the Palais de Tokyo museum in Paris.
Poincheval expects the process to last between 21 and 26 days.
“I will, broadly speaking, become a chicken,” he said.
The artist, 44, began the performance – titled “Oeuf” (Egg) – on Wednesday.
Rather than sitting on the eggs directly, he is deploying a chair with a container under its seat.
Poincheval will be wrapped in an insulating blanket designed by Korean artist Seglui Lee, to keep his body temperature high.
He also plans to eat “heating” foods like ginger to generate more body warmth – and will have provisions in easy reach.
Lavatorial matters are not so simple. Poincheval will use a box beneath him when nature calls, and will not be able to get up to relieve himself.
To hatch the eggs successfully, he will only be able to stand and leave them for 30 minutes a day. That time will be used for meals.
The egg enterprise comes less than a month after Poincheval’s last effort “Pierre” (Stone), where he lived inside a hollowed-out limestone rock shaped to fit his body.
The Palais de Tokyo said the artist was “trying to escape from human time and experience mineral speed”.
Prior to that, he spent a fortnight in April 2014 living inside a hollowed-out bear in Paris’s Museum of Hunting and Nature, eating worms and beetles to mirror the animal’s diet.
According to Poincheval, the best way to understand objects is not from a distance, but by entering them.
The fate of the unborn chickens should – appropriately – be clear after Easter.