Curated by 4th Existence, Room of Requirement, is the inaugural show of NEST at
Zurich University of the Arts.
The Room of Requirement is a replica of a very ordinary classroom setting in which the works of eleven artists have been installed: an intersection of students, former students, teachers and researchers, from inside and outside the school. Together, they trigger that daily scenario, creating an augmented interior space that seems to accommodate a number of extraordinary practices.
The concept of a Room of Requirement refers to the legendary room described in Harry Potter fantasy novels, an invisible space which materializes only in times of great necessity. The room contains anything people need in that specific moment, becoming a place of meeting, exchange, and training against an oppressive force.
In this version of the room we find a series of recreational bells for animals in captivity, a metal board, three ceramic babies sleeping on tatami, a list of worlds of fire, a trash bag filled with paprika chips, two customized tables with information to remember, two chairs in a dress, the voice of a woman talking forwards and backwards, a semitransparent piece of burned paper used perhaps to practice on with a magic wand, two scarabs with melted heads, a short essay about hidden education.
On this occasion, the idea of the Room of Requirement works on a metaphorical level in order to remark on its potential. As Costanza says in her essay: <<Rooms of Requirement become a parable of the political value of a self-organized space, real or artificial, physical or ideological, where the word “culture” spreads in an intimate and unpredictable way>>.