Japanese artist Daizaburo Sakamoto is spending three days in a hole in the ground as part of his performance at the German art exhibition documenta fifteen.
Daizaburo Sakamoto had announced in a statement that he’d dig the hole himself at the show in Kassel. “The universal creativity of humanity exists in that hole. That is my view of things,” he said.
The documenta’s organisers said on Thursday that Sakamoto would remain in the pit until Friday, after he had crawled inside on Tuesday.
In Japan there is a traditional belief in nature which encompasses mountains and forests, Daizaburo Sakamoto said in the statement. The people who have preserved this belief are called Yamabushi, or mountain monks.
“They would go deep into nature and perform mystical rituals there,” Sakamoto explained. “One of them is related to caves and holes.” The artist claims to have become a mountain monk himself 17 years ago.
According to the art show, Sakamoto is also a designer and café owner. He lives at the foot of Dewa Sanzan, an ancient and sacred mountain in Japan, and is involved with traditional ways of life.
The documenta says the performance is part of a public programme of the experimental network Composting Knowledge. “Based on the idea of a collectively cultivated compost, it brings together different materials and resources – including knowledge, time, ideas, space or money – to pursue cooperative, non-hierarchical and neighbourhood-oriented principles,” it said.
The network brings together over twenty participants from Kassel, Tokyo, Sofia, Holualoa, Singapore, Beirut, Zurich, Toronto, Stockholm and London.
The documenta, which has been held in Kassel since 1955, is considered the world’s most important exhibition of contemporary art alongside the Venice Biennale. It’s only held every five years. This year’s edition lasts until September 25. © dpa