Australian artist buried under road for 72 hours

The burial act by Australian artist Mike Parr is one of the main performances of the Dark Mofo Festival and is designed to highlight violence perpetrated by colonialists against Aboriginal communities, the festival says on its website. Workers in Tas
Workers in Tasmania preparing the underground space which artist Mike Parr, 73, entered late on Thursday. He has plenty of water, reading and writing material, oxygen supply, a heater and a distress button in case anything goes wrong - but no food.PHOTO: EPA-EFE
The burial act by Australian artist Mike Parr is one of the main performances of the Dark Mofo Festival and is designed to highlight violence perpetrated by colonialists against Aboriginal communities, the festival says on its website. Workers in Tas
The burial act by Australian artist Mike Parr is one of the main performances of the Dark Mofo Festival and is designed to highlight violence perpetrated by colonialists against Aboriginal communities, the festival says on its website.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SYDNEY • An Australian performance artist has been buried in a steel container under a busy road where he is spending 72 hours as part of a so-called dark arts festival held in the island state of Tasmania.

Artist Mike Parr entered the mini-shipping container late on Thursday and the road was resealed above him.

The 73-year-old has plenty of water, reading and writing material and a heater, as well as a distress button in case anything goes wrong - but no food.

Oxygen will be pumped into the container.

The festival's curator, Mr Jarrod Rawlins, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the artist would limit the amount of liquids he would consume. And he has a bucket.

The burial act is one of the main performances of the Dark Mofo Festival and is designed to highlight violence perpetrated by colonialists against Aboriginal communities, the festival said on its website.

Dark arts festivals showcase artwork and performances that often celebrate ancient rituals.

The festival has attracted controversy for placing inverted red crosses across Hobart, Tasmania's capital, prompting some Christian groups to denounce the installations as satanic.

Hobart's Mayor Ron Christie said he supported the burial act even though he voted against it.

"I actually voted against this at council, I was one of two of us that voted against it, because of the traffic concerns," said Mr Christie.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 16, 2018, with the headline 'Australian artist buried under road for 72 hours'. Print Edition | Subscribe