20,000 helium balloons part of an artwork

  • 09 Dec - 15 Dec, 2017
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

A special needs’ artist Noëmi Lakmaier floated for nine hours during an exhibit titled Fear Of Happiness. Twenty thousand helium-filled balloons were used to lift the artist off the ground as part of a gravity-defying art installation.

A colourful array of party balloons suspended the artist Noëmi Lakmaier before the spectators inside the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

This bizarre performance, which was part of the opera house’s Antidote festival, was called Cherophobia – the fear of happiness.

When talking to the media Lakmaier said, “We’re all supposed to want to be happy, aren’t we? Being frightened of what we want seems to push and pull, and leave us in a constant Catch-22, which sounds so uncomfortable, but in so many ways resonates with the fight between my body and the balloons.”

The live installation’s theme emphasises and exaggerates “the relationship between object, individual and space.” The concept originated from the artist’s experience as someone who has a physical disability. Lakmaier once mentioned that she is quite scared of giving up control, as she uses a wheelchair. She explained that being suspended in the air, relying upon the balloons to hold her, forces her to face that fear.