A Swedish artist locked herself in a cage alone and naked for three days during a bizarre public exhibition in Stockholm, ending with her mother sharing a cigarette.
Elin Skarin, 35, relied on items thrown into the cage by members of the public as she navigated herself through 73 hours of madness in an effort to “examine the relationship between her personal identity and her role as an actor.”
Although the cage started with nothing but a camping toilet, some toilet paper and a microphone, it was soon overrun with gifts ranging from food to bottles of beer and practical items such as a pillow and clothing.
Footage taken at the exhibit late last month provided a snapshot of what Skarin did during her three days of self-confinement.
One clip showed her completely naked with her arms raised in the air, drawing rapturous applause from the audience.
A Swedish artist locked herself in a cage alone and naked for three days during a bizarre public exhibition in Stockholm, which ended when she shared a cigarette with her mother
Elin Skarin, 35, relied on items thrown into the cage by members of the public as she navigated herself through 73 hours of insanity
She was later seen in the cage, posing for photos and gazing at the crowd in Stockholm’s trendy Sodermalm district.
As the video progressed, the performer could be seen charging from one side of the cage to the other before ducking into a box and hiding.
As the crowd continued to applaud her, she reappeared, this time outside the cage holding a bottle of wine and celebrating.
The artist recalled some of the poignant moments, including when she broke down in tears in front of her therapist whom she hadn’t seen in three years.
She also said that her mother visited her on the last day and they shared a cigarette together.
Speaking to MailOnline about the performance, Skarin explained: “Actor in a Cage was a 73-hour theatrical performance that explored the relationship between my personal identity and my role as an actor.
‘I wanted to see if I could free myself from the social contract by merging my personal self with my artistic self. To do this I entered a cage. Everything I did there was part of the theater production.
“Everyone in the audience had to leave a gift for me through a hatch. Those gifts became the scenography and props for the performance.
Skarin started in the cage with nothing but a camping toilet, some toilet paper and a microphone
During the three-day exhibition, the artist performed for an audience that regularly applauded her
Tickets ranged from £11 to £20, but members of the public could give Skarin a gift
‘The piece became very collective and the gifts became important factors in the performance.’
She continued, “On the last day, my psychoanalyst, whom I hadn’t seen in three years, attended the performance. At that moment I was very emotional and vulnerable, I was half naked crying in front of him.
“The audience was confused about who this man was, and a conversation about art, life, chaos and madness ensued.
“People laughed and cried. The last day my mother joined the play and we smoked a cigarette together.’
This is when Skarin suddenly emerged from the cage and walked towards the audience
The group behind ‘Actor in a Cage’ describes the concept of the exhibition on their website: ‘Over the three days, the cage transforms from a solitary work into one with traces of all the people who have been there.’
They added: ‘Is it possible to create theater from scratch and on demand at the same time? When is the actor an artist and when is she a man?’
Tickets ranged from £11 to £20, but members of the public could give Skarin a gift. Visitors were allowed to give the artist everything except something ‘living’.
While those with tickets could enter to watch Skarin’s three days of isolation, others could watch the performance via a live stream outside on the street.