Hermine Demoriane: Tightrope – Lecture Performance

As part of our weekend exploring Hermine Demoriane’s work, this Performance Lecture ‘Tightrope’ is a presentation of the tightrope as seen by artists from Robert Morris to Man Ray.

In April 1971 Hermine Demoriane went to an exhibition at the Tate Gallery of the Canadian artist Robert Morris. Among the exhibits was a tightrope, which she traversed.  From then on, for the next five years, the tightrope became her fascination and obsession. Hermine published ‘The Tightrope Walker’ (1989), sharing a diary of her years as a performer on the tightrope. From appearances at the Grand Magic Circus in Paris and Derek Jarman’s ‘Jubilee’, her career on the wire straddled several alternative cultures in the seventies. Peopled by a gallery of figures from that world – including Dali, Erté, Andrew Logan, her husband Hugo Williams, Philippe Petit, Eno, Nick Lowe, Nick Kent.

In this performance lecture Hermine will give a direct account of her life as a funambulist and she also evokes the spirit of earlier tightrope walkers who pioneered the art – the legendary Blondin, Madame Saqui and others

The evening will feature a raffle to win a copy of ‘The Tightrope Walker’ (1989) which Barry Miles put amongst his top 10 counterculture books.


Image credit: Hermine Demoriane featured in Derek Jarman’s cult film ‘Jubilee’ (1978)

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This screening features as part of weekend of events reflecting Hermine Demoriane’s work as part of our ‘Muddy Clearing’ programme, which acknowledges a series of countercultural performers from the 1970 and 80s to today. Other events in the series include:

Saturday 22 February – A toast to Blondin at his graveside in Kensal Green Cemetery ( The Blondin Memorial Trust)

Sunday 23 February – Screening – The Knives Beside the Plates [3pm – 8pm]

Wednesday 5 March – The Binnie Sisters: Muddy Clearing [Opening 6:30pm – 9pm]

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