Page last updated at 10:52 GMT, Wednesday, 27 May 2009 11:52 UK

A hermit's 40 nights in a museum

Ansuman Biswas
Ansuman Biswas has spent 10 days and nights in a cardboard box

He might not look like the stereotypical hermit, but Ansuman Biswas is well prepared for isolation in a Gothic tower.

The Calcutta-born artist has been picked to spend 40 days and 40 nights in a tiny room at the top of Manchester Museum, looking over the city.

Surrounding him will be 4.5 million artefacts, treasures the museum has collected over time.

The 43-year-old will contemplate things "lost" and the impact of extinction.

Currently living in London, Mr Biswas will uproot his life to exist in the ivory tower from 27 June until 5 August.

His only communication with the outside world will be through his internet blog as he details what life is like in seclusion.

I will be in isolation but I see myself performing a social function that is a historically important part of society
Ansuman Biswas

The feat will not be a big challenge for him, having spent 10 days and nights without food in a cardboard box for an exhibition in London.

He has also been blindfolded and left in a place unknown to him for two days.

Mr Biswas said: "Well in a way the one thing that is missing from the museum is life - a real live human being.

"Being at top of the this gothic tower is much the same way the brain is at the top of a spinal chord.

"The nature of loss, the cultural memory, I want to question what is important to us and how do we show that we value it?

"I will be in isolation but I see myself performing a social function that is a historically important part of society."

A museum spokeswoman said: "By documenting his existence in isolation through blogging and webcam we hope that he will become the museum's ultimate exhibit."

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