After a colossal 100-day search, Museum of Brisbane has found 100 residents to star in 100% Brisbane, its groundbreaking exhibition presented in partnership with Brisbane Airport Corporation that will showcase a living, breathing portrait of the city.
Opening on 15 July 2016 and running for three years, its interactive and ever-evolving content will make 100% Brisbane one of the biggest social research experiments undertaken by a museum anywhere in the world.
The search for the 100-strong community is part of a global phenomenon started by Berlin-based theatre company Rimini Protokoll and in a world-first, the innovative company has collaborated with a museum for the first time.
Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics data, each person selected represents one per cent of the city’s population. Together, the 100 people reflect the true face of Brisbane.
The 100% Brisbane community spans 15 nationalities and 30 different languages, its youngest member was less than four weeks old at the time of recruiting and the oldest was 84 years old. There are five Indigenous Australian members and 10 LGBTI residents, including one transgender person. Ninety-nine per cent have never been in an exhibition before.
An ex-prison guard, ‘manscaper’, canteen manager and ICU doctor are just a few of the recruits’ occupations. The cast also comprises a controversial identity who claims to have shaped 80 per cent of Brisbane’s skyline, four siblings from a Burundian family of seven and two drag queens.
Associate Producer Bec Reid completed the mammoth search by travelling more than 3,000 kilometres, having more than 300 hours of conversations and recording 75 hours of interviews.
100% Brisbane began with one local, Nicky Walker from Everton Park. Nicky had 24 hours to recruit the next Brisbane resident who then chose the next until 100 people were connected. The more people who were recruited, that harder it became to find such specific subjects.
Museum of Brisbane Director Peter Denham said 100% Brisbane was a potent collection of personal accounts about the city’s identity.
“From a hedge fund manager, to an individual that identifies as homeless, this exhibition will be a very real snapshot of Brisbane today,” Mr Denham said.
“We asked people all kinds of questions and we have gained some powerful perspectives on what connects Brisbane to its residents – from the smell of jacarandas that takes you back to childhood to the ever-growing multiculturalism in the city.
“But it is not all about the 100 people. Visitors will be able to share their beliefs or views on hot topics, allowing us to map how attitudes and perceptions change within our city, which is invaluable for us as the custodian of Brisbane’s story.”
Brisbane Airport Corporation Head of Corporate Relations Rachel Crowley said BAC was honoured to partner with a social initiative that revealed the character and variety of the people of the city.
“We loved this idea of putting a mirror up to Brisbane and celebrating the people who make it so special. Everyone has a story, we see this every day at the airport, so an exhibition that reveals who we are as a city, where we come from and where we’re going, is something we were thrilled to get behind,” Ms Crowley said.
Over the course of the exhibition, visitors will be able to connect with the project and share their information and opinions to compare themselves to the 100 participants.
Alongside this interactive experience, 100% Brisbane will also feature a film about the history of Brisbane written and narrated by acclaimed author and actor William McInnes, an exploration of Country and a showcase of objects with extraordinary stories.
A program of events will accompany the exhibition, including panel discussions, curator tours and workshops. More information will be released soon via museumofbrisbane.com.au.
Museum of Brisbane is open daily from 10am to 5pm, on level three of Brisbane City Hall – entry is free.