Belgian Artist Who Chained Himself to a Block of Marble Has to Be Cut Free 

© Nick Perla / Flickr
© Nick Perla / Flickr
Photo of India Irving
Social Media Editor7 December 2017

OK, so artists tend to have a reputation of being a little nuts, but this Belgian artist possibly took it to the next level when he chained himself to a block of marble for 19 straight days.

Mikes Poppe, a performance artist, came up with this radical presentation, which took place in the courthouse of the Belgian coastal city of Ostend, to illustrate the ‘burden of history’ under which artists are forced to live.

His plan was to liberate himself over the course of a few days by slowly chiselling away at the 3-metre (10-foot) chain that bound him. However, he instead had to be cut loose in a rescue mission after 438 hours.

The performance, entitled De Profundis, involved Poppe eating, sleeping, washing, drawing and attempting to free himself all while enchained.

After being rescued, Poppe said: ‘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 a burden which I must always carry.’

Seems like a lot of trouble to go to just to figure out that fact, but hey, isn’t that what makes art so great?