Monika Grabuschnigg’s “Razed in Isolation”
              Rahel Aima
              We knew that the onslaught of pandemic art was coming. In Monika Grabuschnigg’s “Razed in Isolation,” it arrives by way of parable. Here, the cataclysmic disaster is the most powerful volcanic eruption ever recorded: Mount Tambora, Indonesia, 1815. Volcanic ash blocks the sun, changing the weather and affecting crops on the other side of the world. Things, as the Spice Girls once sang, would never be the same again. At least, according to the exhibition text. This narrative plays out obliquely across a series of flat ceramic works, which are installed on the walls alongside aluminum panels and gnarly, gloopy tire rims. Loosely articulated nude figures cavort across glazed lavalike rocks, all overlapping limbs and orifices and doggy style. It later occurs to me that this kind of thing is probably a bit risqué here in Dubai. The skin tones on view resemble the shade range of a makeup counter up until a few years ago: alabaster, peaches-and-cream, golden, and—other. This is definitely the kind of cinematic event in which all the people of color die first. The largest works suggest volcanic activity of a different kind, namely the plate tectonics of early geologic time. In works like Rite of passage

              e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

              Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

              Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

              Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

              Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

              Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

              I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

              Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.