OASE. Ein Raum zwischen Dürre und Blüte
cultural history exhibition 
9 – 18 December 2019
Lichthof, Universität Zürich

curated by Eva Ammann, Salome Bertschi, Sophia Bosshard, Meret Caderas, Elena D‘Amato, Jeanine Ganz, Sofia Hächler, David Kobelt, Simone Mangold, Ariane Milicev, Sabine Moellers, Tiara Lee Muntwiler, Pia Regli, Alessandro Taddei, Anna von Felten, Dylan Watkins

directed with Denise Tonella

During the Fall semester 2019, students from the Department of History took the task to conceptualize, develop and realize an exhibition by themselves. It wasn’t about a grade anymore, but about reaching a common goal collaboratively. The research exhibition project highlighted the history of the OASE, a students room at the department. Since the turbulent eighties, the room was consistently in the middle of the discussion between the department administration and the students who were seeking for more participation and autonomy. Despite the small size of the room, the OASE was the place to be for critical discussions about new theories and themes in historiography. Later in the nineties, the OASE transformed itself into a place to socialize and relax. The students association organized events, aperos, and screenings. At the beginning of the new century, the OASE was at the verge to be closed, but students were successful at the preservation of this space of university culture.The exhibition documented the history of the OASE with archival material, historical images and interviews with contemporary eyewitnesses.

Although the curatorial work was at the hands of the students, the project marked the beginning of a better understanding of what a collaborative curatorial practice could mean. It was very fruitful to see the possibilities of new forms of producing knowledge within the classroom and their mutability into the medium exhibition. As always, the cooperation with Denise Tonella was wonderful and without the enthusiasm and energy of the participating students, the project won’t ever have happened.

cover image: «Gegen eine vergilgte Uni», Flugblatt, 1980 (UZH Archiv, PA.001.196.) and gallery images by Jose Cáceres.

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