CityCat Project

Brisbane River/Maiwar, Australia, 2006/Ongoing

An ongoing collaboration with Sam Watson, a senior Aboriginal leader and noted author. After initial research for a public project in Brisbane, Bailey asked if Watson would be interested in creating  unannounced interruptions to the routine routing of Brisbane’s popular CityCat ferries. Watson responded with a choreography near a sacred and politically-charged site on the bank, toward which the boats would veer and pause briefly before resuming their normal route. The event was first enacted December 2, 2006.

Documentation of Maiwar Performance, December 2, 2006

A significant outcome of the CityCat Project has been Watson’s public declaration, immediately after the first iteration, that the river performance is a contemporary manifestation of the Dreaming that should be told, re-told, and re-enacted indefinitely into the future. To date the Maiwar performance, as it has become known, has been re-staged in May 2009, December 2012 and December 2016.

While the momentary diversion of the CityCat ferries constitutes its central element, the call-and-response structure of the project has activated multiple forms, contexts and audiences, and includes drawings, photographic, video and sculptural works, collages, field recordings, exhibitions, architectural interventions, public discussions, slide-lectures, and publications.

All aspects of the project are undertaken with the knowledge, consultation and support of the Turrbal and Jagera peoples, the traditional custodians of the Brisbane River, its foreshores, and adjacent country.


More information and exhibition history here