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City Of London Corporation to suffocate death metal band

By | Published on Wednesday 2 July 2014

Box Sized DIE

As part of the City Of London Corporation’s Sculpture In The City festival, which kicks off tomorrow, Portuguese artist João Onofre will be bringing his sculpture ‘Box Sized DIE’, an iron box containing a slowly suffocating death metal band, to the UK for the first time.

‘Box Sized DIE’ premiered in Lisbon in 2007, and has been toured around various European cities since. For each viewing of the piece, a local death metal band – for the London shows, a band called Unfathomable Ruination – is locked inside the airtight, soundproofed box. The band plays for the duration, but outside only strange vibrations can be felt and heard.

The duration of each performance is dictated by how long it takes for the band to run out of oxygen.

At a preview performance this morning, that proved to be just over 20 minutes, though frontman Ben Wright said upon emerging from the box that it started to become difficult to breathe after about ten.

Crammed into the box, the band made a formidable noise before the door was shut on them, the sound then becoming a dull rumble amongst all the other dull rumbles that make up London’s ambient noise. Engagement with the artwork really comes through feeling the vibrations coming through the outer walls.

You’ll be able to catch the performance for yourself outside The Gherkin (aka 30 St Mary Axe) on Thursday at 6pm and again at 7pm. It’ll then take place at 6pm every Wednesday to Friday from 4 Jul to 1 Aug. Assuming the band don’t die.

Here’s a video of Portuguese band Holocausto Canibal preparing for their stint in the box earlier this year: