A degree show is a complex format, both desired and cused: it is the creation of a common space and at the same time a traditional rite of passage before leaving the community established during the course of the study programme. It is a climax, yet hopefully contrary to the idea of mastery and masterwork. It is a place where each artist confronts their own practice and, at the same time, confronts both contrasting and embracing artworks, as well as the public, friends, companions and unknown viewers. A liminal, ambiguous experience simultaneously looking backwards and forward, though just consisting of a brief moment. What I would hope for a degree show is that it empowers a dialogue and promotes care, responsibility, autonomy, curiosity and courage.
This year's diploma project – again held in special circumstances due to Covid-19 measurements heavily influencing school cycles and rhythm – consists of two parts: a show curated by Gianni Jetzer at the Löwenbräukunst. There's Always Tomorrow will feature the graduating students' work in a setting outside of the school context. It will be an exhibition that spatially requires bringing everyone together closely, even though the students spent the second year of their two-year study programme in administered distance from each other; the exhibition works with a display system against the traditional showcase idea. While the show is conceptualised by a curator with an 'outside' exe with regard to the graduating students' work, this publication is conceived from the 'inside', by the group of students themselves.
Also, it adopts an opposite approach: instead of unifying different practices on consecutive pages in one book, the print project requires the artists to use a standardised format – a folded 50cm x 50cm sheet – individually. Everyone has the autonomy and responsibility to (re)present their practice or degree project in their own way and aesthetics. The 29 contributions by the 31 artists graduating this year are loose and can be taken apart an circulated individually, and will hopefully appear hung on a wall or kept by someone as a memory.
Text by Judith Welter
Published by: Department of Fine Arts, Zurich University of the Arts
Text contributions: Gianni Jetzer, Leila Peacock, Judith Welter
Artists: AOSAA: Angela Osterwalder & Sergio Antonio Araya, The Bad Conscience (Veru Loremipsum & LS Grave), Samrat Banerjee, Seline Baumgartner, Dorian Büchi, Ishita Chakraborty, Axel Crettenand, Michael Dandley, Jonathan Ospina, Helena Manuela Deck, Catherine Duboutay, Jana Eberhardt, Raphael Erhart, Gloria Galovic, Alice Gilardi, Stéphanie Gygax, Sarah Hepp, Mirjam Blanka Inauen, Andreina Isea Boscan, Raphael Kleindienst, Martin Mur, Aramis Navarro, Giulia Ross / Under Other Names, Marco Russo, Lourenço Soares, Ilona Stutz, Mélanie Therond, Denis Twerenbold, Ardil Yalinkiliç
Graphic design: Carolina Márquez Bernard
Coordination: Aramis Navarro, Lourenço Soares
Additional thanks: Eva Mackensen, Samuel Marty, Esther Zaugg