ARCH+ features 16: Rimini Protokoll and Imanuel Schipper
With its "100% Zurich" stage production, the theatrical production collective Rimini Protokoll demonstrates what it looks like when statistics have faces: "Who is older than 50? Who is exclusively heterosexual? Who has a Swiss passport? Who has a privately owned weapon? Who has ever been under threat of the death penalty? Who reads statistics? Who falsifies statistics? And who has ever fallen in love with another participant during rehearsals?" It was to answer such questions as these that Rimini Protokoll gathered 100 people on a stage; not just in Zurich. This collection of people is a representative population model as elaborated in cooperation with the city: These 100 people are able to make statistically relevant statements.

Picture captions: 100% Zurich, Rimini Protokoll, 2012. Photo: Pigi Psimenou.
Rimini Protokoll has dubbed its theatre project "a statistical chain reaction". To stage their "100% Zurich" project, the production trio initially sought out a single key individual: the Director of Statistics of the City of Zurich. She recruited the next participants from her circle of acquaintances, who in turn found the next group until 100 people had been located. There was only one condition: The suggested participants had to fit into the still remaining statistical categories which represent the population of Zurich.

Picture captions: 100% Zurich, Rimini Protokoll, 2012. Photo: Pigi Psimenou.
"The city is a place in which strangers can live together", according to Rimini Protokoll during a public discussion with Imanuel Schipper. Schipper masterminded and directed the conference reART:theURBAN, which formed the backdrop for the event. "We induce the people on the stage to tolerate deviating opinions". And opinions changed during the course of the project, with some participants changing their point of view from one performance to the next. "100% Zurich" is perceived by the participants in the light of a game rather than as a theatre production and "in fact there is no discussion about whether what we are doing is theatre or not", according to Rimini Protokoll: "The people simply connect with each other".

Illustrated: Imanuel Schipper, Stefan Kaegi, Helgard Haug and Daniel Wetzel (Rimini Protokoll). Photo: David von Becker.
For Nikolaus Kuhnert, the pictorial representation of statistics is an appropriate tool for the visualization of social processes. An up-to-date issue of ARCH+ also deals with the issue of political empirical analysis and collates reports from individuals who wanted to know how other people fare, and the circumstances under which they live. The relationship to "100% Zurich" is a close one: Rimini Protokoll visualize urban relationships using theatrical means.

Illustrated: Anh-Linh Ngo and Nikolaus Kuhnert from ARCH+. Photo: David von Becker.
© 2020 S. Siedle & Söhne OHG