Something exciting to look forward to would be ideal in the next year, that something is UNZIPPED: The Rolling Stones exhibition. UNZIPPED will be taking us through the journey of the Rolling Stones; from their humble beginnings through the craziness to where they are now. This 3 story monster of a show is scheduled to take place fall of 2021, just outside Toronto at Waterloo’s THEMUSEUM.
How did this exhibition “UNZIPPED” come to be/fall into your hands?
The Rolling Stones management created the concept and they originally called it “Exhibitionism” – The Rolling Stones Exhibitionism – and they wanted to do a 12 city, 4 continent tour and showcase all things Rolling Stones. We were keeping an eye on that, and the budget was something that would be difficult to attract the Rolling Stones to our community, but we are a unique organization and we tend to punch over our weight and attract large exhibits. We have only been around 17 years, so we waited until they went off the road (nothing to do with the pandemic) but they went off the road last fall to refresh it, and when they did, we were all over them – tenacious, pursuing them, showing our credibility and that we wanted the show and could manage it. At the time they rebranded it to “UNZIPPED” and we began negotiation about a year ago and ended up getting a deal. I used to be Director of Marketing at the Exhibition Place CNE, so calling some friends there and some ask “how the hell did you get this? This should be in Toronto or Vancouver” – like I said we aspire to greatness and we’re just punching through with this one and are just pleased and thrilled to secure it.
Are there artifacts or memorabilia that will for sure be there?
The show is chronological. There’s a re-creation of their apartment from the Circa 60’s – start off their humble beginnings. The guitar collection is phenomenal, you can listen to favourite riffs and such. And the costumes, there’s a lot of costumes Mick wore on stage, very colourful. Really cool number of things.
Do you have a favourite?
That’s difficult… I think it will be seeing their original artwork and album covers all in one place. Just to see how they have marketed themselves and evolved in their branding.
How do you capture 50 years in art and exhibitions?
There were over 200 artists, builders, and technicians in the creation of this show. 70 of the world’s leaders in terms of costume designers. The work that went into it is wonderful. There are over 300 artworks and artifacts that will be on display. The simple answer is .. it’s a 10,000 square feet, 3 story, monster of a show. Same scale to the David Bowie show 2013 AGO. Huge multi-media experience, that’s how we’ll capture the 50-year history.
When did Keith Richards actually die?
The best response to that is from our climate emergency group. Somebody said to me along the way in reference to the climate emergency and climate change “ What kind of world are we going to leave for Keith Richards?”
Do you have any other shows in the making?
Nothing specific. We’re very unique, we opened in 2003 as a children’s museum before I came. The brand has had to grow, the demographic had to grow. We don’t have a collection, that makes us unique for a number of reasons. The DNA of this community is technology; our model is art and technology at play, so to me, the next big this is more experiential. It’s about coming to THEMUSEUM and not only having something you can’t see somewhere else but can’t experience somewhere else. Success in our world is all about being relevant, the traditional art galleries and museums are super important, but I really feel the future will have the experience be the importance and being able to share it. So our next big thing? We are looking in that world – what can we bring that’s projected and more of an experience for people.