Extreme glamour with a serious edge.
Vienna’s 23rd annual Life Ball is Europe’s largest charity event in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
The great and good gather together: ambassadors such as Bill Clinton, Sharon Stone, Elton John, Naomi Campbell, Charlize Theron, and so many more. A glorious constellation of stars — aligned for a fantastical evening.
Held in front of Vienna’s City Hall with 50,000 jubilant playmates,
this year’s theme will be GOLD.
Inspiration came from Vienna secessionist Gustav Klimt. Radical, revolutionary, and persecuted for his iconoclastic style, Klimt’s magnificent Beethoven Frieze of 1802 provides the drive towards an Opium Effect.
Our canvas: an enormous projection wall, 44m wide. Klimt’s Frieze, re-enacted, will be re-created in red, blue and gold.
Humanity’s longing is evinced by the Genii. Golden-armoured Knights represent strength. Lasciviousness, intemperance, and forces of Darkness vie for our delicate souls — Salvation arrives with an all-consuming Kiss.
To see is to believe.
But the Carnival doesn’t end there.
For the spectacle that is Jean-Paul Gaultier’s fashion show, we digitally rendered a beautiful corset: symbol of freedom and restraint, control and abandon. Unravelling in ribbons of gold.
As it unfolds, an anagram: stretching towards Gaultier’s name, in a visual echo of an Ode to Joy.
Central to the Life Ball is the Ribbon of Hope.
Each year, this €100,000 Swarovski marvel is awarded in honour of exceptional service against HIV/AIDS. Opium rendered its facets in the colour of granted wishes.
There would be no Life Ball without music. No Frieze without Beethoven’s Ninth.
And Conchita Wurst headlines this year’s festivities. She embodies exuberance, difference, and acceptance. Hope and glory – with a beard and a dress. ‘All hail Conchita!’ — as we recreate her bust for the event. Millions of pixel-perfect details: Rising like a Phoenix in digital gold.
Life Ball is a moment in time. A glimpse of a future as it should be. An intervention in the present. And for those afflicted or affected by HIV/AIDS, a valiant re-casting of the past.