Michaela Gleave

7 Hour Balloon Work (Black)


Photo: Gregory Lorenzutti

7 Hour Balloon Work (Black) was durational performance in which artist Michaela Gleave inflated 1,500 black balloons with helium gas.  Executed in a translucent room, the artist slowly filled the performance space over the 7 hour period, black balloons pressing down from the ceiling.  The performance re-visited Gleave’s original live video from 2010, in which the artist sat blowing up colourful balloons for 7 hours, slowly burying herself in her actions before popping them all and exiting the space. 7 Hour Balloon Performance (Black) inverts the joyous if bittersweet original to explore darker themes: an existential action is performed, the effects of which slowly crush space and obscure visibility.    

The entire of the performance was live streamed as well as being physically accessible to a live audience.

7 Hour Balloon Work (Black) took place on Saturday May 4 at the Ian Potter Museum of Art in celebration of the launch of their 2019 program, Inside Out.