07 Sep — 09 Sep 2016
Newlyn Art Gallery & Off Site
Cherophobia is a 48-hour durational living installation by Noëmi Lakmaier. It is an attempt to lift the artist’s bound and immobilised body off the ground using 20,000 helium party balloons.
Commissioned by Unlimited, a festival celebrating extraordinary new works by disabled and deaf artists, Cherophobia invites viewers to observe as balloons are inflated and attached by a team of assistants, as Lakmaier is suspended in the air. The performance will be broadcast live from St Leonard’s church in Shoreditch, London to the Southbank Centre and venues across the UK and internationally. We will be screening it live in the Studio cafe at Newlyn Art Gallery, from 12pm on Wednesday 7th September.
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’.
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 site-responsive, live and installation-based practice.
Lakmaier’s work aims to emphasize and exaggerate the relationship between object, individual and space. Through the use of everyday materials as well as her own body and the bodies of others, she constructs temporary living installations – alternative physical realities – exploring the psychological implications of power, control and insecurity, the drive to belong and succeed as well as feelings of self-doubt and otherness.
She is interested in the presence of the viewer as voyeur and how this presence can act as the catalyst that galvanizes an event and creates a tension and a divide between ‘Them’ – the passive observer and the ‘Other’ – the objects of their gaze.
Unlimited Festival London
6-9 September 2016
Unlimited – celebrates the artistic vision and originality of disabled and deaf artists, showcasing theatre, dance, music, literature, comedy and visual arts. The festival aims to embed works by disabled artists within the cultural sector, shift perceptions of disabled people and reach new audiences across the country to national and international delegates.