Saturday, 25 November 2017


Durational Performance 18.00-20.00 Thurs 30 Nov Baerum Kunsthall 

Rigging by Torgeir Gabrielsen Photo by Sigrid Z. Heiberg
Into the Void
French artist Yves Klein famously claimed he had flown in a performance in 1960; in this performance Connolly floated 4 metres up, conquering the upper atmosphere and ceiling space of the gallery.
Saut dans le vide meets Lawnchair man

Tech spec:

Performance Proposal                                                                 © R.Connolly 2017

For: Baerum Kunsthall exhibition 30.11.17 – 17.12.17

Title: Into the Void

Klein’s ’performance photograph’ gives the paradoxical illusion of a man hurling himself into space above a drop that would injure or kill if the image were an accurate depiction of real life.
This performance creates the real-life paradox of what appears to be a man only being stopped by the gallery ceiling from being carried into space by an absurdly small number of helium-filled party balloons (5,000 would be needed in reality

Tech spec:
30 x party balloons
Ball of string
Double-sided adhesive foam pads (UK: Sticky Fixers, US: Buddies)
800kg suspension straps, wire rigging
Suspension seat
Hydraulic lift platform (Genie or scissor lift)

Synopsis:  The suspension seat is attached to the RFC ceiling beam using the lifting straps and rigging.
30 party balloons are filled with air and strings tied to them.
The balloons are attached to each other with adhesive foam pads, clustered around the straps until the straps are invisible, and the cluster glued to the ceiling,
The balloon strings are attached to the chair and the tension on the strings adjusted to give the appearance of the chair being suspended.
The lift platform is removed.
The audience is admitted.

Duration: 2 hours approx (duration of vernissage).


Title: Per Ardua

photo Jon Lundell
Concept: The title is an abbreviation of the Latin motto Per Ardua Ad Astra (Through Adversity to the Stars) and refers to both the Space Race and the ephemera commemorating it that are the focal point of this exhibit, and Yoko Ono’s Yes* (1966), famously used as a means to meet Paul McCartney and John Lennon when she exhibited in a gallery whose owner knew McCartney.

Synopsis: A collection of lapel badges commemorating the early space missions pinned to a small plush display frame is hung on the wall at a height of approx 2.5m.
An illuminated magnifying glass on a piece of string is hung near it.

A ladder is leaned against the wall next to the display. This text is displayed on the wall by the exhibit.

*Yes consisted of a step ladder placed beneath a black canvas on the ceiling with a magnifying glass hung next to it, with the word YES printed in tiny white letters in the middle of the canvas.
Having discovered that Paul McCartney was associated with the gallery, Ono asked to show there. Having met him without result, she then applied pressure for John Lennon to be invited while she was hanging work before the opening and used the occasion to meet him, attempting to get into his car with him when he left. After he came to the opening, she bombarded Lennon with postal invitations and mail art pieces until he agreed to meet again, and the rest is history.
I was told this by John Dunbar, who ran the Indica Gallery with Barry Miles and Peter Asher (brother of McCartney’s girlfriend at the time), and he and Miles gave an abbreviated version in an interview for a BBC documentary on 60s art (
Art and the 60s: Politics and Performance).

"Verticalability - what a great word! Even if it might only exist for the duration of a few moments. Nevertheless, more than being a term or not, it points out directions and ways to walk on. The up and down, the over and the under, the below and above, the good and bed. In any sense, it is elusive and momentarily, not made for eternity. Who wants to live forever? Not us, neither do you.
Reaching out into space and it’s beyond, or digging deeper the mining caves towards the centre of the earth, human ambitions appear limitless expressed by a momentum delivered onward ever since the age of Sirum. The question today is when we are about to benefit from this or if it already is too late?" - Tammo Rist

Verticalability: Tammo Rist, Robert Connolly, Jon Lundell

at Baerum Kunsthall 30.11.17 - 17.12.17


  1. Superb. A triumph. Personally I believe the balloons kept you up there.

    btw did the audience see you?

  2. Only one member of the audience in this photo.