Channeling equal parts Empire Strikes Back and Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, French artist Abraham Poincheval has begun his performance art piece known as Dans La Peau de l'Ours (Inside the Skin of the Bear) by taking up residence inside of a hollowed out bear's body.

Poincheval is no stranger to squeezing into small spaces, in fact it may be his unique oeuvre. The artist is known for performances where he spends stretches of time in small spaces such as a crevice beneath a one ton boulder, or inside of a cramped metal tube. This latest performance sees Poincheval getting back to nature by crawling inside of a sterilized, taxidermied bear corpse where he will live for the next two weeks.

Equipped with the "bear" minimum such as water and food rations, and a lamp, Poincheval will eat, sleep, and go to the bathroom inside of the empty ursine. The piece is installed at the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, a Paris museum devoted to hunting and nature art, and from the outside, the bear appears to simply be a preserved specimen in the middle of a normal gallery room.

For those outside of Paris, there is a live feed of the artist's experience where you can see Poincheval pass the days sleeping, thinking, and having the occasional chat with a guard or visitor. This comes on the heels of reports that trying to survive inside of an animal carcass is ill-advised, yet Poincheval seems to be doing just fine. [The Independent]


Image Credits: exponaute,

Eric Grundhauser is a Senior Editor at Atlas Obscura, the leading guide to the world's wondrous and curious places. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook!