The Biennale appointed young Lyon-based graphic designer and visual artist Claire Rolland to create the visual identity of the 2014 event. Rolland chose to work with images from the Men in the Cities series by Robert Longo, a leading artist on the New York scene. Longo first met with success in the 1980s with this key piece of his output, inspired by the films of Fassbinder: giant charcoal drawings of men and women in smart urban outfits, in the midst of losing their balance.
To produce this motion e"ect and lend the characters a realistic quality, the artist took his models – who included Cindy Sherman, Larry Gagosian and Eric Bogosian – up onto the rooftops of Manhattan, tossed tennis balls to them, and took photographs. He then produced his gigantic drawings from the photos, projected in large format. In 1999, Longo embarked on further series of works that combined extreme violence with great gentleness, always using huge formats, in which he captures the frightful beauty of nature. Today, he is one of principal artists represented by the Metro Pictures gallery in New York. The Biennale clip, based around Robert Longo’s bodies, can be viewed at biennaledeladanse.com The music is by Woodkid, a Lyon artist with an international career.
“I felt it would be interesting to work with images made with a constraint, a sort of performance. To me they conjure an impetus, a pure kind of movement. I chose them because they !t this Biennale’s project, based around performance, but also for their strong visual impact in public space. They leave plenty of room for emptiness and abstraction. The graphics hold a dialogue with the character by creating a second outline, and I used the gradient so that I could also impart movement to the colour.”