Skip Links
Close Dialog


A meditative, one-off attempt to lift the artist's bound and immobilised body with 20,000 balloons.

In the Concert Hall, our largest venue. | View Seat Map

ANTIDOTE is a festival of ideas, art and action. Visit the festival website.

“Noëmi Lakmaier is well known for making work that puts her in uncomfortable and challenging situations.”
Disability Arts Online

A live installation exploring notions of control, desire, and restraint

Cherophobia is a live installation, performed over nine hours by Noëmi Lakmaier, in which the artist attempts to lift her tied and immobilised body off the ground using 20,000 multi-coloured party balloons.

Cherophobia is a performance and a meditative gathering, a one-off event that connects people through shared suspense and anticipation. It takes its title from a psychiatric condition defined as 'an exaggerated or irrational fear of gaiety or happiness'.

Originating from her own experience with disability, Noëmi Lakmaier's live and site-responsive practice explores notions of the 'other', ranging from the physical to the philosophical, the personal to the political.

Viewers are invited to join for the duration or stop by for a moment to experience this amazing large scale free installation taking over the Concert Hall.

The Opera House is committed to environmental sustainability.  All balloons used in in this event are biodegradable, and will be composted following the event conclusion. The event uses "balloon-grade" helium, a low-grade and less pure form of helium that is not fit for medical use.

More about Noëmi Lakmaier...

Noëmi was born in Vienna and has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally, with shows like Disabled by Normality and Object/Female. In 2008 she was Artist in Residence at Camden Arts Centre, London, and in 2010 she showed her piece We / Them / Other as part of Belfast Festival. She has guest lectured at universities and art schools and won numerous awards and bursaries. Noëmi's work aims to emphasise and exaggerate the relationship between object, individual and space.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Plan your festival…

The Onion Live - Real Fake News
7.15pm, Sat 2 Sept 2017
Join the editors and creators of satirical news organisation The Onion, as they share their favourite headlines and reveal just how hard it is to make satire at a time when facts are stranger than fiction.
All Day, 3 Sep 2017
20,000 helium balloons. Nine hours. One woman. A unique, one-time-only meditative experience exclusive to Sydney.
The Money
2-3 Sep 2017
An urgent, playful, participatory theatre experience that forces us to confront our best and worst selves. How do you want to spend the money?

Support your Opera House

The Opera House is a not for profit organisation. Help us inspire through the power of art and ideas.

Make a gift