Chained to a 4-ton block of marble

Belgian artist Mikes Poppe recently chained himself to a four-ton block of marble and then attempted to free himself by chiseling away at it. His goal was to demonstrate how the "inescapable burden of history" imprisons artists.

Nineteen days later he gave up and asked to be freed, admitting that he had "underestimated the marble." Despite this, he said, "I don’t see that as a failure... On the contrary. I have been able to communicate with the public. I am now going to read the many comments in the guestbook and take a warm bath.”

via hyperallergic
     Posted By: Alex - Tue Dec 05, 2017
     Category: Performance Art

Give him credit for the progress he made. All that with a hammer and chisels, he probably had arms and shoulders like Hercules at the end.
Posted by KDP on 12/05/17 at 08:46 AM
1) Put chain on top of marble.
2) Hit chain link with chisels.
3) Free in 10 min.

Better yet, create some art, instead of doing some insipid publicity stunt.
Posted by Virtual on 12/05/17 at 09:57 AM
Do ya think he appreciates sculptures more now? There is a reason the old famous guys had "apprentices" the medieval equivalent of interns. I'm also thinking he went for the prettiest marble instead of the softest LOL
Posted by John the opal finder on 12/05/17 at 11:10 AM
An artist failed at physical labor. Not unexpected.

An artist seems to have neglected to learn the most basic facts about how something is done. Not unexpected.

An artist knew that 'failing' would garner much more publicity than actually doing what he said he would do. A little unexpected -- the majority aren't nearly that smart.

I did a fast search and scanned a few pages, but I couldn't find any clues as to whether it was always his intention to 'fail' by using the wrong tools (everything I've seen pictured are finishing tools incapable of basic stock removal) and the wrong approach (making a lot of dust instead of taking out chunks).

If he was anything approaching a true artist, he'd have visited quarries and watched how marble is extracted from the mountain, he'd have researched ancient techniques, and he'd have learned how the old masters approached their work.

This makes his artist's statement a total sham -- the 'burden of history' is that artists who know what they are doing succeed and are remembered while those who act out of total ignorance are, at best, a flash in the pan, leaving no lasting impact.

I have to wonder if he's hoping to be this generation's Dali.
Posted by Phideaux on 12/05/17 at 12:11 PM
I don't agree with Phideaux. The artist wanted to show the inescapable burden of History; the marble block was symbol for History; he wasn't able to escape from the marble. I call that a success.
Posted by Yudith on 12/06/17 at 06:20 AM
As close as he was to the end, it's obvious anyone could have freed themselves by continuing the work instead of giving up. Only quitters and the lazy would find it 'inescapable.'

If he was trying to demonstrate that some artists (such as himself) lack the integrity and perseverance necessary to overcome obstacles, then he succeeded.
Posted by Phideaux on 12/06/17 at 04:35 PM
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