Noemi Lakmaier lying on a plinth attached to 20,000 colourful helium balloons with two production assistants either side of her.
Noemi Lakmaier’s ‘Cherophobia’ at Southbank Centre’s Unlimited Festival. Photo by Grace Gelder for Unlimited.

Noëmi Lakmaier – Cherophobia

Cherophobia is a durational 48-hour live installation. It is an attempt to lift the artist’s tied and immobilised body off the ground using the force of 20,000 helium-filled multi-coloured balloons.

Cherophobia is a performance and a gathering, a one-off event that intertwines people in their shared suspense and anticipation. It takes its title from a psychiatric condition, defined as ‘an exaggerated or irrational fear of gaiety or happiness’.

Audiences are welcomed to join for the duration as balloons are inflated one at a time by a team of assistants. The performance was broadcasted live from a site in London to Southbank Centre’s 2016 Unlimited Festival. It has travelled to other venues around the UK as well.

Originating from her own experience of disabled self, hence physical ‘other’ Noëmi Lakmaier’s work explores notions of the ‘other’ ranging from the physical to the philosophical, the personal to the political. The individual’s relationship to its surroundings, identity, and perception of self and ‘other’ in contemporary society are core interests in her predominantly live and site-responsive practice.

Through the use of everyday materials and her own body she constructs temporary living installations – alternative physical realities. Through them she explores the psychological implications of power, control and insecurity, the drive to belong and succeed, as well as feelings of self-doubt and otherness.

Noëmi has performed and exhibited widely, both in the UK and internationally.

One-off durational live art event in London. Available for 48 hour live streaming in September 2016.

Supported by Unlimited, with funding from Arts Council England.


9 November
No Limits Festival, Berlin Germany
27 December 2017
Red Bull Online Video
17-29 October 2017
LADA Screens: Online
07 - 09 September 2016
07 - 09 September 2016
07 - 09 September 2016
Newlyn Art Gallery (Live Stream)

07 - 09 September 2016
FACT (Live Stream)

Production details

Shiri Shalmy
Michael Wüst, Live Art Development Agency
Requires budget of £50,000+


Noëmi Lakmaier

Useful links

Artist website
Artist Twitter

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