Grandaddy of Australian creep, Mike Parr, will be buried underneath a road for three days as part of a new performance work at this year’s Dark Mofo.
Parr will be buried below the bitumen in the central lane of Macquarie Street, which passes through the Hobart city centre, in a container measuring 4.5 metres by 1.7 metres by 2.2 metres, and the road will be resealed once the container is in place for traffic to continue as normal over the site.
The work, entitled 'Underneath the Bitumen the Artist', is intended to be a comment on the violence of Australia’s colonial history. It will begin at 9pm on Thursday 14 June when the container is buried, and close at 9pm on Sunday 17 June, when Parr will make his exit.
“When Mike Parr asks to be buried under the streets of Hobart, it’s hard to say no,” the Dark Mofo creative director, Leigh Carmichael, said in a statement.
“Underneath the Bitumen the Artist acknowledges two deeply linked events in Tasmania’s history. The eventual transportation of 75,000 British and Irish convicts in the first half of the 19th century, and the subsequent, nearly total destruction of Tasmania’s Aboriginal population.”
Dark Mofo said Parr would be provided with sketchbooks, pencils, a stool, bedding, water, “and other items necessary for survival”. He will continue to create artworks while underground and out of sight.
The container will remain in the road after the performance has concluded and will be sealed with concrete.
UNDERNEATH THE BITUMEN THE ARTIST
9pm Thursday 14 June–9pm Sunday 17 June 2018
Macquarie Street, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Presented by Dark Mofo and Detached Cultural Organisation, Hobart