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She admits she has a fear of germs. But for her new art installation, Miru Kim has decided to live with pigs for 104 hours, non-stop. The former medical student is staying in a pen at the front of one of the galleries at Art Basel Miami 2011, and visitors can watch her, naked, through the window.
She will eat and sleep alongside the animals for the next four days. And getting down in the dirt wasn't easy for the 30-year-old, who suffered badly with obsessive-compulsive disorder as a child. 'It's a very concentrated industrial environment, so the level of smell is toxic,' she told the Huffington Post. 'I get into a mental zone when I am doing a shoot. After I'm done, however, if I can't get the smell off my feet, it's very disturbing.'
Kim, the daughter of a Korean philosopher, has gained notoriety for stripping off and photographing herself naked in strange places such as abandoned factories, tunnels and bridges. She said the work helps her get over her fears - 'fear of darkness, fear of dangerous activities in general, and fear of dirt'.
She was inspired to create I Like Pigs And Pigs Like Me after reading French philosopher Michel Serres's book Five Senses: A Philosophy of Mingled Bodies, which explores the characteristics of skin. 'Skin is not only an envelope protecting the inner body, or a membrane that allows exchange between exterior and interior of the body,' Kim said. 'It also serves as a mingling point between the outer world and inner self, and between body and soul. 'When I mingle with pigs, I feel my existence more then ever.'