French artist walks Brittany in full suit of armour

A French performance artist who has made his name by confining himself into very small spaces is to take to the streets of Brittany while wearing a full suit of metal armour weighing almost 30kg.

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In his latest work, Abraham Poincheval will pace through the streets wearing heavy metal armour, in the style of a medieval knight, as a “new physical challenge” and a “contemporary adventure”, he said.

The real-life exhibition is just the latest idea from Mr Poincheval, who regularly puts his body and mind through significant challenges in the name of art.

He is especially interested in enclosing himself into small and public spaces.

This June, he spent a week inside a wooden man-lion statue in the grounds of the Musêe d’Aurignac (Haute-Garonne).

Last year, he enclosed himself into a 12-tonne rock in the Palais de Tokyo in Paris for a week, with barely enough space to move, and only a black-and-white camera monitoring his state.

Another work involved sitting in a an incubator surrounded by hens’ eggs until they hatched, in full view of the watching public. In 2016, the artist perched on a platform 20 metres off the ground for a week, alone, in the Gare de Lyon in Paris.

In 2015, he lived inside a giant glass bottle - again, in full view of the public, and later spent almost two weeks living inside a hollowed-out bear model in the Paris Hunting Museum.

In 2012, Mr Poincheval spent seven days living inside a hole in the ground, covered by a one-tonne stone, in the floor of a bookshop.

Explaining his work, he said: “You might not move a lot, but you travel far [in your mind]. There have been times when I’ve said to myself, ‘I should probably stop now’, [but, the habits of] hermits are something I am very interested in.”

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