b. in Austria
Berlin based, represented by Carbon 12.

Available now at Distanz Verlag: Porträts by Neven Allgeier & KubaParis

2021    A Practice of Love, groupshow, Stems Gallery, Brussels, 22 July - 4 September 
2021    Johanitterkirche, solo, Feldkirch, Austria. october

2011                  Degree Magistra Artium (MA), Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Vienna, AT
2005 -2011        Fine Arts Studies, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Vienna, AT
2010 - 2011       Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago de Chile, CL
2008- 2009        Bezalel Academy for Arts and Design, Jerusalem, IL

2021    burned against the rear fender, Lehmann + Silva Gallery, Porto, Portugal.
2021    Razed in Isolation, Carbon 12, solo, Dubai, UAE.
2020    Violent delights, Dock 20 - Kunstraum und Sammlung Hollenstein, Lustenau, Austria.
2020    Gallery Stephanie Kelly, solo, Dresden, Germany.
2019    In delirium I wear my body, Studioraum 45cbm, Kunsthalle Baden-Baden. Germany.
2019    Fantasy electrifies my hand, REITER Galerie, Leipzig, Germany. 
2018    What Satisfaction Could You Possibly Have, Carbon12, Dubai, UAE.
2015    Rest, you restless guardians, Cosmos Gallery. Bilbao, ES

2021    Hell, yes!, Horse & Pony Berlin, Germany.
2021    Nocturnal Correspondence, duo show with Martin Maeller, Lemoyne Project, Zürich, Switzerland.
2020    Kunstsalon im Fluc, groupshow, Vienna, Austria.
2020    Incubation highway, online viewing via Cosmos Carl - Platform Parasite.
2020    ...of bread, wine, cars, security and peace, group show, Kunsthalle Wien, Austria.
2020    out of the woods, group show, Carbon 12, Dubai.
2020    not cancelled Dubai, Carbon 12, Dubai.
2020    Dancing at the Edge of the World, Sara Zanin Gallery, Rome, Italy.

2019    deep storage, work collaboration with Jake Kent, Sox Berlin, Germany.
2019    The Garden Bridge, Brücke Museum Berlin. Germany.
2019    1046°-1205°, Schau-Fenster das Arty, Berlin. Germany. 
2019    Double date, Pina project space, Vienna, Austria.
2019    Nightshades, Polansky Gallery, Czech Republic. 
2019    Texte sind die wichtigste Nebensache in einer Ausstellung, Schau Fenster, Berlin, DE

2018    Berlin Art Prize Nominees exhibition, The Shelf, Berlin, DE
2018    A Strong Desire, PS120, Berlin, DE
2018    Haptic House, Horse and Pony Fine Arts, Berlin, DE
2018    Public sculpture, mountain art trail, Muttersberg in Vorarlberg, AT. EU- Leader Project
2018    NGORONGORO II, Group show during Berlin gallery weekend
2018    Inside Töpfern, Municipal Gallery Lichtenberg, Berlin, DE

2017    Auf Einladung, Artist House Villa Claudia, Feldkirch, AT
2016    Visceral Silence, Carbon 12, Dubai, UAE
2016    Flight suit, Alfred Gallery, Tel Aviv, IL
2014    Revealing the concealed, P8 Gallery, Tel Aviv, IL

2018    State museum Vorarlberg, AT
2014    State museum Vorarlberg, AT
2012    The Federal Artothek, Austrian Government Art Collection, Vienna, AT
2011    The Graphic Collection of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, AT

2020    Neustart Kultur, Stiftung Kunstfonds Bonn, DE
2020    5x5GO, Project Grant, Federal State Government of Vorarlberg, AT.
2018    Awardee Berlin Art Prize, 2018, DE
2016    Awardee young artist award, Federal State Government of Vorarlberg, AT
2016    Funding for Flight Suit at Alfred Gallery in Tel Aviv Funded by the Federal State
            Government of Vorarlberg in Austria and the Austrian Cultural Forum in Tel Aviv, Israel.
2015    Studio grant for two years, Federal State Government of Vorarlberg, AT
2014    Project grant, Federal State Government of Vorarlberg, AT
2005    Scholarship, International Summer Academy for Fine Arts, Salzburg, AT

2017    SoART artist in residence, Millstätter See in Kärnten, AT
            Additional funding by the Federal State Government of Vorarlberg, AT
2016    Va Independent Space for Contemporary Art in Isfahan, Iran.
            Funded by the Austrian Cultural Forum in Berlin and Tehran, the Federal Chancellery
            of Austria and the Federal State Government of Vorarlberg in Austria
2015    Artist Residency, Bilbao Arte Foundation, Bilbao, ES
2013    Artist in Residence Exchange at BilbaoArte Foundation, Bilbao, ES Funded by the Federal
            State Government of Vorarlberg in Austria

2020     NADA Miami, Carbon 12, Miami, USA.
2019     NADA Miami, Carbon 12, Miami, USA.
2018     NADA Miami, Carbon 12, Miami, USA.
2017     Vienna Contemporary, Carbon 12, Vienna, AT
2017     NADA New York, Carbon 12, New York, USA
2017     Art Dubai, Carbon 12, Dubai, UAE
2016     Vienna Contemporary, Carbon12, Vienna, AT

2020    Et al. Press, Artist edition release
2019    Artist talk mit Su-Ran Sichling, Klasse Honert, HfBK Dresden, Germany.
2017    Open studio & talk with students of Basisklasse of Kunsthochschule Mainz with Prof. Thomas Schmidt in Berlin, Germany.
2016    Public discussion and tour with Kirsten Helfrich (education department KUB)
            to Wael Shawky’s solo exhibition at KUB museum in Bregenz, AT.
2015    We know what‘s hot where and when, Set design theatre play. Directed and written by Amit Jacobi.
            Ufer-studios for contemporary dance, Berlin, DE
2011    Internship MemScreen research project with Ritesinstitute, Vienna.


2020    PW-Magazin, Es geht um Speed, Paula Thomaka
2020    Podcast feature, Kunsthalle Vienna
2020    In conversation, .. of bread, wine, cars, security and peace, Kunsthalle Vienna
2020    Q&A, Distorting Modern Life with Monika Grabuschnigg, Artconnect, Veronica Jonsson

2019    Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Studioraum 45 cbm, In delirium I wear my body
2019    Feature: In delirium I wear my body, KubaParis, Franziska Linhardt
2019    Hedonismus als Hineinsinken, gallerytalk.net, Anna Meinecke
2019    Bodies of work - Tush MagazineText: Hedi Xandt

2018    Numéro Homme Berlin, Fall - Winter 2018, Artists to Watch (print)
2018    Gewinner des fünften Berlin Art Prize stehen fest - Monopol Magazin
2018    Monika Grabuschnigg Wins Berlin Art Prize - Blouin Artinfo
2018    These 20 Female Artists Are Pushing Sculpture Forward - Artsy
2018    Shakespeare, Shelley and Cyberspace - Alserkal Avanue review
2018    Interview with Penny Rafferty, Elephant Magazine

Monika Grabuschnigg’s work employs a variety of media while continuously returning to clay. The tactility of this material offers a contradiction to the digital age. She processes familiar objects into installations and sculptures by engaging with popular culture, philosophy, memory and dream. Contemplating the darker aspects and essences of life, the artist explores how external forces shape values, beliefs and desires.

In 2020 Grabuschnigg was awarded with a grant of Stiftung Kunstfonds Bonn, in 2018 she received the Berlin Art Prize. Her works are represented in international private collections and several public institutions, e.g. the State Museum Vorarlberg, the Federal Artothek in Vienna, and the Graphic Collection of the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna.

Recent exhibitions include: ‘Razed in Isolation’, Carbon 12, Dubai, 2021; ‘burned against the rear fender’, Lehmann + Silva Gallery, Porto, 2021; ‘Violent delights’, DOCK 20, Lustenau, 2020; ‘...of bread, wine, cars, security and peace’, Kunsthalle Wien, 2020; ‘In delirium I wear my body’, Studioraum 45 cbm, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, 2019; ‘The garden bridge’, Brücke Museum, Berlin, 2019.

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Carbon 12


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A Season Turned, 2020
Edition of 25 + 4 AP
CMY Print on 250g/m² paper
29,7 x 42 cm

Available via Et al. Press.

Blind spot in a corridor, 2019
Edition of 13 + 2 AP
glazed ceramic and ink
26.5 x 21 x 1.5 cm

Available via KubaParis. 



Exhibition view, Horse and Pony, Berlin.

Exhibition view, Horse and Pony, Berlin.

The doomsday scroll is the new vertical roll, visualized by Joan Jonas on a cathode ray tube as a psychological hammering of additively endless repetitions. Half a century later, as we scroll on tiny screens, a flicker fuck of information hypnotizes us in bed, making
us vulnerable to algorithmic targeting. Nets are cast and prey is captured for mind manipulation and false truths. Essentially, a cult-like zeroing out of the individual.

We need to shake shit up.
So to all those anti-vax and toxic mascs, we cast a spell:

You better watch out Oh, what you wish for It better be worth it So much to die for

Hell, Yes! is an attitude, a perspective and a position of aggressive optimism: lipstick, nail color, high femme weirdness and a queering of norms. Cutting through the noise of the attention economy in order to champion heterogenous points of view and resist a leveling out. The machine of pop culture is operable only with the energy its fandom brings as fuel and fire. And at this moment when the digital reigns supreme, bitches and witches and their friends put their handicraft where their witchcraft is. Stitching their spells and sending the rest into the flames.

Hyperballade (1), 2020 & Dull skies, 2021. Both glazed ceramic.

Review at gallerytalk.net

Presskit with Artist Bios



22 MARCH - 10 MAY 2021
Carbon 12 | Dubai

Rite of passage, 2020
Glazed ceramic
105 x 84 x 3 cm

Speed-flower, 2020
Glazed ceramic
13 x 46 x 36 cm
Timeworn spirits (diluted fate 2), 2021
Glazed ceramic, exorcism oil, fiberglass wick and fire
11 x 27 x 22 cm

Dreambirth, 2020
Glazed ceramic
20 x 23.5 x 1.5 cm

Whisper drops in italic, 2021
Glazed ceramic
106.5 x 82.5 x 8 cm

Goth, 2021
150 x 75 x 0.4 cm

Crash (Simulation 17), 2020
Glazed ceramic
10 x 39 x 43 cm

Rite of passage, 2020
Razed, 2021
Chaos of hard clay, 2021
Sick mood at sunrise, 2021
Glazed ceramic
107 x 80 x 8 cm

Back door, 2021
Glazed ceramic
100 x 79 x 5 cm

It began with the story of fire and its raging speed. Columns of flames splitting the skies.
The difficulty of breathing through a mist of ash. The razing blades that liquify, twist and contort.
Sword of light forged into steel. Burning shadows onto aluminium. 

A Year Without a Summer 

First, she must recount the taste of the poison fog. The feeling of the earth’s crumbling particles.
A bit like chewing on sand, the feeling of dust on her tongue.
It had simply leached through into her flesh,down to her very bone.(1) 

— had she lost her sense of taste and smell yet?

it’s raining acid from the sky                                            the city slowly deliquescing
hub caps melting— welding— solidifying                       becoming clay
even the Sun shivers
that night, the Moon spit thorns.

— will she ever rise up again?

And, the next day, the Sun rose in isolation.

She wakes up to the lusty caws of ravens bringing bread and meat in the morning.(2)
But she has nothing to trade. There were no tears.  Nothing like that.
Nothing but a piece of flesh and a flower. 

In the caves, she eavesdrops on the murmurs that make up the rocks.
There are words inside the stones.(3)
In the cacophony of echoes, memories always gather in the same space.
Maliciously listening, they thicken around her. They multiply like shadows.

The earth’s gossip pulls passion and desire.
Mud becomes her listener, friend, comrade, collaborator; absorbing whispers through its chambers of clay.

The following night, she dreams of the caves of Lascaux.
Their figures and shapes engraved and painted over cavernous walls. How they dance and fuse with the rock.

She thinks— I could let myself dissolve into them, let them take me over . . .
but surely the dream isn’t all there is.(4)
Perhaps, it’s what we make of the fallout that matters . . .

The candle flame flickers, but its future turned out to be a mirage.
Oh, the pall of a past world.(5)

1. The Vegetarian, 2007. Han Kang.
2. The Ravens Feed Elijah, 1 Kings 17:2-16. The Bible. 3. Marrow, 1981. Ursula K. LeGuin.
4. The Vegetarian, 2007. Han Kang.
5. Darkness, 1816. Lord Byron.

The tale recounts the aftermath of a speculative cataclysmic event that causes dramatic disruptions in humanity’s way of life. It is partly inspired by the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia, the most powerful volcanic eruption in recorded human history. As ashes from the eruption dispersed around the world, they blocked the sun and triggered extreme weather as well as harvest failures in Europe and North America. This is the story of what remains after grand disturbances shake the world to its very core.

— Marie-Charlotte Carrier , February 2021

“Razed in Isolation emerged from private limbo. The ceramic reliefs are occupied by empty bodies, engraved in ruptured landscapes with uncanny narratives. They’re almost voyeuristic; like wormholes tunneled from one isolation to another.

Suspended by industrial chains, the hanging aluminium works have been branded with phrases, depicting scar tissue where liquid metal hits cold aluminium.

Your mind is so goth, 2021 brought me joy and was my last work for Carbon 12 gallery. I felt at home and remembered my cassette tape of the 1980s depro-punk band Fliehende Stürme, which I played so indulgently that it now slows down in the middle.”             
-Artist Statement

Images by Anna Shtraus.

Violent delights

DOCK 20 – Kunstraum und Sammlung Hollenstein
13.11.2020 – 17.01.2021

Das Ausstellungsjahr beschließt eine Solo-Ausstellung von Monika Grabuschnigg. Die erste institutionelle Einzelausstellung in Österreich der in Vorarlberg geborenen Künstlerin kombiniert ältere Arbeiten mit neuen und erlaubt eine intensive Auseinandersetzung mit ihren beeindruckenden Skulpturen und Reliefs. Die absolut zeitgenössische Präsenz ihrer Werke speist sich vor allem aus dem Aufeinandertreffen eines traditionellen und eng mit der Idee von Handwerk verbundenen Werkmaterials auf die Ästhetik eines digitalen und virtuellen Raums. Grabuschnigg arbeitet mit Ton, der gegossen oder mit bloßen Händen, dem Spatel oder einfachem Werkzeug bearbeitet und in komplexen Brenn- und Glasurprozessen zu Keramik-Körpern verarbeitet wird.

Was Grabuschnigg an diesem alten, in den letzten Jahren nicht zuletzt aufgrund einer gewissen kunsthistorischen Unbelastetheit für Künstlerinnen und Künstler wieder interessant gewordenen Material begeistert: „Seine Direktheit, der ökologische Aspekt und die Herausforderung im Umgang“. Grabuschniggs teilweise riesige und mehrteilige Keramik-Objekte haben nichts mit Gebrauchskeramik gemein, sie funktionieren nur selten kleinteilig oder als Gefäße. Viel eher sind sie bildlich zu verstehen: Als Bildträger und durchaus malerisch aufgefasste Oberfläche zugleich.

Für ihre Ausstellung in Lustenau installiert Grabuschnigg eine ursprünglich für die Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden konzipierte Installation „In Delirium I Wear My Body“ im kleinen Ausstellungsraum neu: ein Dreiergespann frei hängender Keramikreliefs auf feinen Metallgittern montiert und in surreales Blau getaucht. Mit „Computing in between hollow clouds“, „Tantalum melt, sourcing for I“ und „Spellbound by uncertain algorithms“ (alle 2019) sind die drei Keramik-Draht-Körper betitelt und spielen sich damit nicht nur optisch zwischen alchemistischen, mathematischen und psychologischen Realitätskonstruktion ab. Wie abstrakte, verflüssigte und dann wieder geronnene Körper werden sie im technoiden Ambiente des fensterlosen Ausstellungsraums schweben, fleischige Rosa-Töne treffen auf kaltes Blau, fließen malerisch ineinander, fügen sich zu einem dreidimensionalen, dennoch die Fläche nicht verlassendem begehbaren Bild.

Grabuschniggs Interesse gilt nicht nur in dieser Arbeit den Auswirkungen von Digitalität und Virtualität auf den physischen Körper und unsere Selbstwahrnehmung, formal höchst eigenständig thematisiert die Künstlerin zeitgenössische Formen von Nähe und Intimität, zugleich zutiefst persönlich und allgemein gültig und genau deshalb so berührend.

Zur Ausstellung sind ein Film zum Produktionsprozess sowie eine Publikation geplant.
Monika Grabuschnigg (geb. 1987 in Feldkirch) lebt und arbeitet in Berlin.

Text to the exhibiton: The Convulsing World of Monika Grabuschnigg by Louisa Elderton

Image credit: Miro Kuzmanovi, Courtesy of: DOCK 20 – Kunstraum und Sammlung Hollenstein
Video credit: Fux & Hase

Herzlichen Dank an Martin Wellmer für Projektberatung und Produktion.  

Dank an die Bildhauerwerkstatt im Kulturwerk des bbk berlin GmbH, an Susanne Jung und Nico Ihlein, an Baumann Befestigungstechnik Berlin, Naomi Blundell Meyer, Ursula Marignier, Martin Jackson, Marius Presterud, Hans Reichow, Johanne Marie Jensen, Sebastian Neeb und an das Amt der Vorarlberger Landesregierung / Abteilung Kultur.

Incubation Highway is a virtual exhibition launched September 25th, 17:00 CET, featuring works by Monika Grabuschnigg, Andreas Ervik and Marius Presterud.

Taking place inside a Tesla-machine, the exhibition looks at the idea of life being lived entangled in and meshed with other things. Or rather, things enlivened by these livings. It explores the idea of the car as oikos (ecology/home) and inspects identity as a continuous fluctuating between hosting life and being a guest in it.

Resonating this theme, the exhibition will burrow itself into the car sales forum of the commercial platform Finn.no, while being further distributed via the online art platform Cosmos Carl - Platform Parasite. 

Incubation Highway was supported by the Federal State Goverment of Vorarlberg, Austria and UKS - Young Artists‘ Society, Oslo.

Installation views: Incubation Highway, 2020, Oslo, Norway.
Works by Monika Grabuschnigg, Marius Presterud & Andreas Ervik. Images by Siv Dolmen.

Roughly one hundred and fifty years ago, de Bary (1831-1888) introduced into German the word “symbiose” to refer to unfriendly as well as friendly associations of different creatures, and so included forms of parasitism. Arbitrary, the larger associate is called the host, though in some symbiosis it is not easy to say which creature is hosting which.

The post-humanist Timothy Morton has called our age the time of hyperobjects, a moment during which we discover ourselves on the inside of some objects bigger than us; Earth, global warming, radiation, evolution. Reminding us what the ‘eco’ in ecology originally stands for: oikos/home.

Incubation Highway explores the idea of the Tesla-machine as exactly that, a home to things. It inspects identity as a continuous fluctuating between hosting life and being a passenger. It is a notion that rids us of preconceptions about self and other, about who is in charge and how change occurs.

Hosting becomes a designated title and site based on others needs. The host can be the gut, a tooth cavity, the patterns of a car tire, a garage, a website, the UN, a seafloor chimney. Viruses, bacteria, energy drinks, etc permanently colonize hosts, adding their genes to the mesh.

Living inside something entails a different strategy for the guest. It starts caring for the wellbeing of its host - I wash my car, I vacuum it, I restock its fluids. No longer the immaculate, libertarian subject - cape flapping in the wind, walking atop the water - I’m undressed, dependency dirtied, wading nakedly through the oily, rich, primal ooze.

In suite with dehorned rhinos and destarred Mercedes, humans too are discrowned, and our status redistributed. In the same way electric cars parasite our dying sun, Norwegians brace the snow with their fate inseparable from the battery life of their car. The headlights, once willing doe eyes, now small red backlights, glaring at us in contempt. Once in lead position, now stuck in the round-about. This is life on the road, continuously on the move, as hunter and as prey.

- Marius Presterud, 2020

Exhibition text.

Artist text contribution by Andreas Ervik.

Liquified desires, I speed so far

Gallery Stephanie Kelly, Dresden
04.09.2020 – 03.10.2020

Curated by Kerstin Flasche

-> Floorplan

-> Exhibition text 

EN In 1996, the cinema audience yearned for the merciless images of wounded bodies, prostheses, and spines held up by nothing but steel corsets. In his film Crash, David Cronenberg directs the camera at a group of young people for whom the adrenaline rush of a self-provoked car accident turns into the ultimate drug. Luxurious sports cars racing towards concrete pillars are contrasted by excruciatingly slow tracking shots of bare, deformed bodies and car wrecks. Strewn across the floor, Monika Grabuschnigg’s 2019/20 works Crash (Simulation) appear like relics from Cronenberg’s film. Dented hubcaps are scattered throughout the exhibition space. Without pedestals, they seem to bear witness to the immediate crash and induce an imagination of horror. Based on her expertise in materials, Grabuschnigg succeeds in creating a deceptively real simulation. Ceramics is metal is ceramics—just as body is prosthesis and prosthesis is body. Not only does Cronenberg fetishize the automobile, the fetish is the collapse, is the corruption of the organic body, its transience, but simultaneously its subjugation. In spite of all collisions, the actors do not inevitably die—they redesign and arm their bodies in the course of the film, replacing extremities with prostheses and corsets. And faced with these limping surrogate creatures; creatures filled with irrepressible (life-)energy, the line between self-destruction and self-optimization becomes blurred. Crash—Cronenberg’s and Grabuschnigg’s—are parables for our perpetually optimized high tech times, in which it is increasingly uncertain whether developments are benign or malignant—and for whom?

What is deformation as a category? Taking a look at the history of material aesthetics, obviously a threatening one. European art history is categorized by form. Dating back to ancient philosophy, art theory has been haunted by the dichotomous Aristotelian formula of form versus material and their description not only on the basis of gender but also hierarchies: It is only through an act of violence of an actively male-imagined artist that the passively female-imagined material is attributed its form and value.[1] The more resistant, harder or heavier the material, the higher its ranking within the order of materials. In the 19th and at the turn of the 20th century, new synthetic, polymorphic, and liquid materials (cast iron, later on plastic) posed a threat to society as a whole. A fear arose that everything solid would become liquid and everything masculine would become feminine.[2] This hegemonic-masculine debate set the stage for a new feminist thinking on materials: Softness, formlessness, and deformation are interpreted as refusals to function, as a revolt of the material and ultimately transform into key figures of an overarching resistance movement against omnipresent binary orders (material<form, body<mind, woman<man, etc.).

How does this relate to Grabuschnigg’s deformed hubcaps? As they lie on the gallery floor, they appear to buck, to rise and fall, some of them rearing up as though they are acting of their own volition. They seem to morph into animated protagonists inside the exhibition space and they refuse to comply with their original function—a solid material performance. Are they deformed by a superior force (the crash) or do they weaken as a consequence to an inner state of refusal (as a kind of radical softness)? Or perhaps, they rise up to build a parliament of materials? Whatever the force that has unfolded to create these deformations, in no scenario was it a human (artistic) act of violence. Joining the ranks of many (queer) feminist artists since the 1960s and 70s, Monika Grabuschnigg has entered an alliance with the material in order to reject material orders and ascribed hierarchies.


Eight flames—ceramics covered with fiery red glazes, fired at immense temperatures, relief next to relief: New Fire, Hardware for the Real (2019). As a single object, the abstracted flames appear to have solidified, but as a series, their manifold shapes are as polymorphous as fire itself. If we let our gaze wander through the exhibition space, the flames begin to flicker before our eyes.

The venue of the present is torn in two like never before. Since the invention of the digital interface, life has taken place in two seemingly completely separate forms of environment—the material-physical and the virtual-digital. The black mirror represents the physical intersection of these worlds. Infinitely delicate fingers type on so-called bulletproof glass, only our impulses penetrate the touch screen, which is button, window, and barrier alike. Nevertheless, we dive headfirst into the liquid crystals and project, realize, and expand ourselves into the opposite world. We are Narcissus above our black reflections. We do not, however, encounter any digital screens in the exhibition—despite the black-glazed wall reliefs that allow for associations of peculiarly misshapen tablets, on whose reflective and shiny surfaces Grabuschnigg’s fingers have dug, gouged, even carved into the clay with familiar greasy fingerprints, gestures, and swipes. Yet, Grabuschnigg’s flame ceramics are mounted to the walls using brackets for smart TVs and flatscreens. Grabuschnigg’s Hardware for the Real therefore turns into analog devices that promise access to a (as of yet) encrypted source of information, if we only look in deep enough… Grabuschnigg herself summarizes her works as follows: “New Fire, Hardware for the Real is about formation of knowledge in the widest sense—from personal-emotional knowledge to a technical (god-empty) understanding of the universe.”

Choosing the flame, Grabuschnigg evokes a strong symbol, one that is charged poetically-melancholically, but also philosophically. Flames, fire—the allegory of the cave may come to mind; crucial ancient Greek epistemology. The allegory of the cave is one of the foundational texts of Platonic philosophy and questions the essence of knowledge and the nature of reality. We are imprisoned and understand only what we experience—according to Plato. And still, today we incessantly and gullibly expand our individual worlds through the knowledge of others, through search engines, and algorithms. In a world where the boundaries between the physical and the digital are permanently perforated, our perception is ultimately expanded. Grabuschnigg critically states: “We live in times of unlimited access to information, which rather than offering increased freedom and opportunities for development evokes system overloads, alienation rather than enlightenment.”—What knowledge do the flame ceramics offer us alternatively?

With their silhouette-like contours, Grabuschnigg’s flames are stylistically reminiscent of tribals, the graphic typography of mystical runes, and the extensive language of form seen in tattoos from the 1990s. They join a viral aesthetic revival, a new rebellion of a neo-pagan sign language and aesthetic—retro, virtuosic, and witchy.

A new/old power is currently pulsating in the queer scene: queer witchcraft. First-wave feminists already identified themselves with the often arbitrarily persecuted and murdered women and healers condemned to be witches. Today, LGBTIQ and (BI)POC communities reclaim and employ (neo-)pagan and (neo-)spiritual forms of knowledge to non-patriarchal and anti-colonial ways of life, and experiment with performative concepts that go even further beyond cis- and heteronormative adaptations of the old image of witches. A sensitivity to one’s own position/ing and the contexts of marginalized reference groups is essential here because even these empowering strategies of appropriation can be liable to convey an unconscious reproduction of colonialist gestures. I nonetheless see a groundbreaking potential for the reconfiguration of knowledge discourses in the inclusion of allegedly negatively connoted attributions and their pointed transformation into positive and emancipative models. In her stylistic reference to a revival of neo-pagan forms and aesthetics, I read Monika Grabuschnigg’s dancing flames as open think tanks for alternative sources of knowledge and transforming perspectives. So if smart devices offer access to a seemingly unlimited yet algorithm-based digital pool of knowledge, can Grabuschnigg’s ceramic flames provide a hardware for deconstructing the concept of a dominant hegemonic-masculine culture that has been declared reality? While New Fire, Hardware for the Real reveals the instability of traditional categories of knowledge, the series Crash (Simulation) testifies to the instability of physical certainty.

Kerstin Flasche

[1] Cf. the preface to the chapter “Material und Geschlecht” in: Materialästhetik. Quellentexte zu Kunst, Design und Architektur. Edited by Dietmar Rübel, Monika Wagner and Vera Wolff, Berlin 2005, pp. 299-300.

[2] Ibid.

DE 1996 lechzt das Kinopublikum nach den schonungslosen Bildern verwundeter Körper, Prothesenleibern und Wirbelsäulen, die nur noch durch Stahlkorsetts aufrecht gehalten werden. In seinem Film Crash richtet David Cronenberg die Kamera auf eine Clique Jugendlicher, für die der Adrenalin-Kick eines selbstprovozierten Autounfalls zur absoluten Droge wird. Der rasanten Schnelligkeit, mit der die heißesten Sportwagen auf Betonpfeiler zurasen, stehen quälend langsame Kamerafahrten über die offenen, deformierten Körper und Karosserien entgegen. Monika Grabuschniggs Bodenarbeiten Crash (Simulation) von 2019/20 scheinen wie Reliquien aus Cronenbergs Film. Verbeulte Radkappen liegen im gesamten Ausstellungsraum verstreut. Ohne Sockel scheinen sie vom unmittelbaren Crash zu zeugen und verleiten zu Imaginationen des Schreckens. Mit ihrer Materialexpertise gelingt Grabuschnigg die täuschend echte Simulation. Keramik ist Metall ist Keramik—so wie Körper Prothese ist und Prothese Körper. Bei Cronenberg wird nicht nur das Automobil fetischisiert, der Fetisch ist der Kollaps, die Versehrtheit des organischen Körpers, seine Vergänglichkeit, aber gleichzeitig auch seine Überwindung. Denn trotz all der Kollisionen—die Akteur*innen sterben nicht zwangsläufig. Im Laufe des Films rüsten sie auf: Sie ersetzen ihre Gliedmaßen durch Prothesen und Stützkorsetts, und angesichts der hinkenden, doch von unbändiger (Lebens-)Energie durchströmten Surrogat-Kreaturen verschwimmt die Grenze zwischen Selbstzerstörung und Selbstoptimierung. Crash—Cronenbergs und Grabuschniggs—sind Parabeln unserer fortwährend optimierten Hi-Tech-Zeit, in der unklar ist, wann Entwicklungen gut- oder bösartig sind—und für wen?

Was ist Deformation für eine Kategorie? Offenbar eine Bedrohliche, blicken wir in die Geschichte der Materialästhetik. Die europäische Kunstgeschichte ist kategorisiert durch die Formgebung. Seit der antiken Philosophie geistert die dichotomische aristotelische Formel durch die Kunsttheorie, nach der Material und Form nicht nur geschlechtsspezifisch, sondern auch hierarchisch beschrieben werden: Erst durch den Gewaltakt eines aktiv-männlich imaginierten Künstlers, erhält das passiv-weiblich imaginierte Material seine Form und seinen Wert.[1] Je widerstandsfähiger, härter oder schwerer ein Material, desto höher ist sein Rang innerhalb der Ordnung der Materialien. Im 19. und zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts stellten neue synthetische, polymorphe und flüssig zu verarbeitende Stoffe (Gusseisen, später Plastik) eine gesamtgesellschaftliche Bedrohung dar. Es stand die Angst im Raum, dass alles Feste flüssig und alles Männliche weiblich wird.[2] Die hegemonial-maskuline Debatte schafft eine Bühne für ein neues feministischs Materialdenken: Weichheit, Formlosigkeit und Deformation werden als Funktionsverweigerungen, als Aufbegehren des Materials interpretiert und gerinnen zu Leitfiguren einer übergreifenden Widerstandsbewegung gegen omnipräsente binäre Ordnungen (Material<Form, Körper<Geist, Frau<Mann, etc.).

Wie verhält es sich bei Grabuschniggs deformierten Radkappen? Auf dem Galerieboden scheinen sie zu buckeln, sich zu heben und zu senken, einige bäumen sich wie von selbst auf. Sie scheinen zu animierten Akteuren*innen im Ausstellungsraum zu werden und sich ihrer ursprünglichen Funktion—einer soliden Materialperformance—zu verweigern. Sind sie von höherer Gewalt (dem Crash) deformiert oder schwächeln sie aus innerer Verweigerungshaltung (einer Art radical softness)? Oder erheben sie sich gar zu einem Parlament des Materials? Welche Kräfte auch immer gewaltet haben, um diese Deformationen zu erzeugen, in keinem Szenario war es ein menschlicher (künstlerischer) Gewaltakt. In der Ahnenschaft vieler (queer-)feministischer Künstlerinnen seit den 1960er und 70er-Jahren geht Monika Grabuschnigg eine Allianz mit dem Material ein, um Materialordnungen und zugeschriebene Hierarchien zu verwerfen.


Acht Flammen—Keramik, überzogen mit feuerroten Glasuren, gebrannt unter immensen Temperaturen, Relief neben Relief: New Fire, Hardware for the Real (2019). Als einzelnes Objekt erscheinen die abstrahierten Flammen erstarrt zu sein, als Serie jedoch sind ihre mannigfaltigen Formen so polymorph wie das Feuer selbst. Lassen wir den Blick durch den Ausstellungsraum schweifen, beginnen die Flammen vor unserem Auge zu züngeln.

Wie zu keiner anderen Zeit ist der Austragungsort der Gegenwart entzweigerissen. Seit der Erfindung des digital interface findet das Leben in zwei scheinbar völlig voneinander getrennten Umgebungsformen statt—dem Materiell-Physischen und dem Virtuell-Digitalen. Der black mirror stellt die physische Schnittstelle dieser Welten dar. Finger tippen unendlich zart auf sogenanntem Panzerglas, nur unsere Impulse durchdringen den Touchscreen der zugleich Schaltfläche, Guckloch und Barriere ist. Dennoch tauchen wir kopfüber in die liquid crystals ein und projizieren, verwirklichen und erweitern uns in der gegenüberliegenden Welt. Wir sind Narziss über unseren schwarzen Spiegelbildern. In der Ausstellung begegnen uns jedoch keine digitalen Screens—wenn auch die schwarz glasierten Wandreliefe Assoziationen an seltsam aus der Form geratene Tablets zulassen könnten, auf deren spiegelnd-glänzender Oberfläche Grabuschniggs Finger die bekannten schmierigen Fingerspuren, Gesten und Wischbewegungen in den Ton gegraben, gefurcht, gar eingeschnitten haben. Doch Grabuschniggs Flammen-Keramiken sind mit Halterungen an den Wänden befestigt, die zur Aufhängung von Smart-TVs und Flatscreens dienen. Damit wird Grabuschniggs Hardware for the Real zu analogen Devices, die uns Zugang zu einem uns (noch) verschlüsselten Informationsquell versprechen, blicken wir nur tief genug in sie hinein… Selbst resümiert Grabuschnigg über ihre Arbeiten: „In New Fire, Hardware for the Real geht es um Wissen im weitesten Sinne—um persönlich-emotionales Wissen bis hin zu einem technischen (gottlosen) Verständnis des Universums.“

Die Künstlerin bedient sich mit der Flamme einem starken Symbol, das poetisch-melancholisch, aber auch philosophisch aufgeladen ist. Flammen, Feuer—das Höhlengleichnis mag in den Sinn schießen, Erkenntnistheorie der frühen griechischen Philosophie. Das Höhlengleichnis zählt zu den Grundtexten der platonischen Philosophie und befragt das Wesen der Erkenntnis und die Natur der Wirklichkeit. Wir sind gefangen und begreifen nur, was wir selbst erfahren—nach Plato. Und doch erweitern wir heute gutgläubig unsere individuellen Welten permanent durch das Wissen Anderer, durch Suchmaschinen und Algorithmen. In einer Welt, in der die Grenzen zwischen dem physischen und dem digitalen permanent perforiert wird, ist unsere Wahrnehmung ultimativ erweitert. Kritisch konstatiert Grabuschnigg: „Wir leben in einer Zeit, in der wir unbegrenzten Zugang zu Informationen haben, was, statt mehr Freiheit und Entwicklungsmöglichkeiten zu bieten, Systemüberlastungen evoziert, Entfremdung anstelle von Erleuchtung.“—Welches Wissen bieten uns die Flammen-Keramiken also alternativ an?

Grabuschniggs Flammen erinnern mit ihren schattenrisshaften Konturen stilistisch an gewundene Tribals, die graphische Typografie mystischer Runen, nehmen die flächige Formsprache von Tattoos der 1990er-Jahre auf. Damit schließen sie sich einem viralen ästhetischen Revival an, einem neuen Aufbegehren einer neo-paganen Zeichensprache und Ästhetik— retro, virtuos und witchy.

Aktuell pulsiert eine neue/alte Macht in der queeren Szene: queer witchcraft. Schon Feministinnen der ersten Welle haben sich mit den als Hexen verschrienen, und oft willkürlich verfolgten und ermordeten Frauen und Heilkundler*innen identifiziert. Heute werden von LGBTIQ- und (BI)PoC-Communities (neo-)pagane und (neo-)spirituelle Wissensformen für nicht-patriarchale und antikoloniale Lebensformen fruchtbar gemacht, und performative Konzepte erprobt, die noch über cis- und heteronormative Adaptionen des alten Hexenbildes hinausgehen. Dabei ist eine Sensibilität gegenüber der eigenen Position/ierung und den Kontexten der marginalisierten Bezugsgruppen essentiell, denn auch diese empowernden Formen von Aneignungsstrategien können Gefahr laufen, kolonialistische Gesten unbewusst zu reproduzieren. Dennoch sehe ich in der Aufnahme vermeintlich negativ konnotierter Zuschreibungen und deren gezielte Transformation in positive und emanzipative Leitbilder wegweisende Potentiale der Neukonfigurationen von Wissensdiskursen. Mit ihrer stilistischen Referenz an ein Revival neo-paganer Formsprachen und Ästhetiken lese ich Monika Grabuschniggs tanzende Flammen als offene Denkportale zu alternativen Wissensquellen und transformierenden Perspektiven. Wenn also Smart-Devices Zugang zu einem scheinbar unbegrenzten und dennoch auf Algorithmen basierenden digitalen Wissenspool bieten, können Grabuschniggs Keramik-Flammen eine Hardware für die Dekonstruktion der zur Realität erkorenen Konzepte einer hegemonial-maskulinen Dominanzkultur bieten? Während New Fire, Hardware for the Real die Instabilität von tradierten Wissenskategorien veranschlagt, zeugt die Serie Crash (Simulation) von der Instabilität physischer Gewissheit.

Kerstin Flasche

[1] Vgl. das Vorwort zum Kapitel „Material und Geschlecht“ in: Materialästhetik. Quellentexte zu Kunst, Design und Architektur. Hrsg. v. Dietmar Rübel, Monika Wagner und Vera Wolff, Berlin 2005, S. 299-300.

[2] Ebd.

Liquified desires, I speed so far on KubaParis, September 2020.

....of bread, wine, cars, security and peace

Kunsthalle Wien, Austria.
08.03 - 04.10.2020

Artists: Marwa Arsanios • Zach Blas • Sonia Boyce • Banu Cennetoğlu • Alejandro Cesarco • Saddie Choua • Phil Collins • Alice Creischer • Adji Dieye • Ines Doujak • Melanie Ebenhoch • Tim Etchells • Kevin Jerome Everson • Forensic Architecture • Giorgi Gago Gagoshidze, Hito Steyerl & Miloš Trakilović • Monika Grabuschnigg • Vlatka Horvat • Anne Marie Jehle • Gülsün Karamustafa • Jessika Khazrik for the Society of False Witnesses • Victoria Lomasko • Hana Miletić & Globe Aroma • Marina Naprushkina • Tuan Andrew Nguyen • Wendelien van Oldenborgh • Sylvia Palacios Whitman • Dan Perjovschi • Pirate Care • HC Playner • Oliver Ressler • School of Contradiction • Selma Selman • Andreas Siekmann • Daniel Spoerri • Mladen Stilinović • Marlene Streeruwitz • Milica Tomić • …

Crash (Simulation), 2019-2020

Deceptively ceramic – clay translated into metal – Crash (Simulation) (2019-20) is about where our craving for speed is leading us; what our dangerous addiction to exponential acceleration is causing.

Spat out from the aftermath of some near-future, continent-wide fire, in which the boundary between the real and virtual has been engulfed, these heat-deformed relics are the disfigured afterbirth of a convulsing world. Floor-strewn, the hubcaps conjure the cars we know but are as much as symbolic as figurative, calling out our hyper-optimized society in which human interaction – with each other and with our surroundings – is growing increasingly detached and abstracted.

Grabuschnigg’s series is an attempt to understand how we move through, understand, and ravage our increasingly hyperreal environments. It’s also about knowledge in the widest sense: how we’re moving from personal, analogue, communal knowledge to a technical and cold understanding of our universe. We have easy access to unlimited information but rather than more freedom, more opportunities, we face the crash-and-burn of system overload. Smoke-clouded alienation rather than blue-skied enlightenment.

Although intensely solid, teasingly tangible, the works also evoke bodiless speed; how our embodied cognition can zip from California to Australia in seconds, from night to day, from Instagram to Excel, Tinder to live-streamed Senate hearings . Everything at cardiac-shock pace, meth-driver hurry, anxiety-addled confusion. We can always go faster, the sculptures are telling us. We can always make more, do more, see more. But no matter our speed, we’ll always be overtaken by our aftermath.

There are slivers of hope here, though. Their symmetrical, crystalline, almost fractal design grasps on to nature Examples of those deeper patterns that pre-date us, that will long outlive us. Flowers, in memoriam, for our inevitable apocalypse.

– Martin Jackson, February 2020

Link to exhibition.

Images David Schönen

Dancing at the Edge of the World

Sara Zanin Gallery, Rome, Italy
7 February – July 15, 2020

Saelia Aparicio, Charlotte Colbert, Monika Grabuschnigg, Zsófia Keresztes, Alexi Marshal,
Florence Peake, Proudick (Lindsey Mendick and Paloma Proudfoot), Megan Roone, Eve Stainton

Curated by Marcelle Joseph

‘…when women speak truly, they speak subversively — they can’t help it: if you’re underneath, if you’re kept down, you break out, you subvert. We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains’.

Ursula K. Le Guin (Bryn Mawr Commencement Address (1986) in Dancing at the Edge of the World (1989)

‘To make a new world you start with an old one, certainly. To find a world, maybe you have to have lost one. Maybe you have to be lost. This dance of renewal, the dance that made the world, was always danced here at the edge of things, on the brink, on the foggy coast.

– Ursula K. Le Guin (World-Making (1981) in Dancing at the Edge of the World (1989)

  • Appropriating the title of Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1989 non-fiction collection, Dancing at the Edge of the World, this group exhibition envisions a futuristic, alternative world where humankind speaks what Le Guin calls the ‘mother tongue’, the language that encourages relations, networks and exchanges, instead of the forked ‘father tongue’ – the language of power spoken by ‘Civilised Man’ who sees the rest of society in a terminal dichotomy of subject/object, self/other, male/female, mind/body, active/passive, Man/Nature, dominant/submissive. The exhibition itself will be a centre of subversive feminist activity where the body – fleshy, often leaky and sometimes desirous – is omnipresent but never separated from the mind. The artists in this exhibition invade their own privacy to explore embodiment and representation in an anarchic and self-realising strategy of empowerment. There will be artworks that have an eruptive feeling that echo the universes that can be found in Le Guin’s novels that yearn for a feminist or non-binary utopia – a new universalism of sorts, devoid of inequality, domination and exploitation and full of feminine pleasure.

    At the centre of this exhibition will be a ‘drawing in space’ in the form of a king-sized canopy bed complete with a queen’s crown made by Charlotte Colbert that will be activated through performance on Wednesday, 26th February 2020. Florence Peake and Eve Stainton will perform a volcanic duet, using the intimacy of their lesbian polyamorous relationship to elevate the marginalised affection, sexuality, power and energy of the sensual and visceral queer body. The backdrop of this performative space will be a giant wall mural produced specifically for this exhibition by Saelia Aparicio. Another performance will take place on the opening night when Proudick (the artist duo and collaborative artistic enterprise founded by Lindsey Mendick and Paloma Proudfoot) transform themselves into shopkeepers to man their designer shoe shop – that quintessential haven of aspirational feminine desire.

    In this exhibition, to quote Le Guin one last time, these ten female-identifying artists ‘dance[ ]… at the edge of things’ in order to rid the old world of its populist, patriarchal tendencies that have persisted in the oppression and othering of humans that lay outside a narrow demographic of power and genius and to build a new world where marginalised communities are not always on the verge of becoming but have become fully actualised humans with all the rights and privileges of ‘Civilised Man’.

    Group show: Dancing at the Edge of the World
    ARTISTS: Saelia Aparicio; Charlotte Colbert; Monika Grabuschnigg; Zsófia Keresztes; Alexi Marshall; Florence Peake; Proudick (Lindsey Mendick and Paloma Proudfoot); Megan Rooney; Eve Stainton
    CURATED BY: Marcelle Joseph
    DURATION: February 7 – April 23, 2020
    Performance by Florence Peake and Eve Stainton: Wednesday 26 February 2020, 7.00 pm
    ADDRESS: z2o Sara Zanin Gallery, via della Vetrina, 21, 00186 Rome

In delirium I wear my body

Studioraum 45cbm Kunsthalle Baden-Baden
20 July – 15 September 2019

Curated by Benedikt Seerieder

For thousands of years the human hand has formed clay and earth to create useful things and to express the inner workings of the mind. Today, however, an essential part of the personal world of experience has shifted to virtual space. The effects of this change are physically perceptible, but often difficult to grasp. Monika Grabuschnigg traces the changing experience of reality by translating processes of the virtual into material ceramics. For the exhibition “In Delirium I Wear My Body” at the Studioraum 45cbm of the Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, she creates three new ceramic reliefs reminiscent of bodies – bodies that form freely and de-realize themselves.

- Benedikt Seerieder, 2019

PDF: Full exhibition text in english & german
PDF: Catalogue

Images by Michelle Mantel

The exhibition is supported by Land Vorarlberg and Österreichisches Kulturforum Berlin.

Polansky Gallery Brno
14 March 2019–25 Mai 2019

Rebecca Ackroyd, Julia Colavita, Monika Grabuschnigg,
Maren Karlson, Martin Maeller, Sandra Vaka Olsen

Curated by Christina Gigliotti.

Inner chaos, like those secret volcanoes which suddenly lift the neat furrows of a peacefully ploughed field, awaited behind all disorders of face, hair and costume, for a fissure through which to explode.

A Spy in the House of Love, Anaïs Nin, 1954

This exhibition is in the same breath self-destructing and reviving–piecing together what’s left. It mourns; choking on the fumes of singed plastic waste. It scuttles; away from the rubble in search of halcyon estuaries.

Nightshades are mythologized to blossom only at night. In shadows and crevices they creep and shiver, opening themselves to the thick tenebrous air.

- Christina Gigliotti



Earth Sciences

Images by Jan Kolsky
Poster by Ville Kallio

Fantasy electrifies my hand

01-12-2019 – 03-16-2019 | R E I T E R Leipzig

Monika Grabuschnigg’s solo exhibition at REITER gallery Leipzig revolves around a central question: what is the place of love and intimacy in our present-day environment split between the virtual and real?

Cognitive psychology tells us that romantic fantasy can be elicited by the smallest of details, the flick of a hair, the dimple in a smile, which constitute the 'signature' of the desired person. Sociologist Eva Illouz, whose writings are central to Grabuschniggs' work, tells how current-day relationships mediated by technology – screens, websites and dating apps – flip this theory on its head: instead of desire being prompted by gestures remembered from the past, it is the product of anticipated imagination. No longer based on real-life touch, technology-enabled intimacy is shaped through other, bodiless gestures – from right swipes and double-taps to sliding into DMs.

This change in tactile function is apparent in Grabuschnigg's new series of ceramic reliefs, where hands are a recurring motif. In Place yourself where my eyes can feel, where my skin can see (2018), the near-disembodied fingers tangle and twist, fondle and feel, accentuating the visceral materiality of the clay in which they are inscribed, which is at odds with our digital age's preoccupation with all things slick and smooth. Or again in Speeding through gestures (2018), where contorted hands seem to have etched themselves deep into the earthenware, confronting us with the intense physicality of Grabuschnigg's working process: the handling, lifting and glazing of the clay, and her rhythm as she moves around the objects.

The titles of Grabuschnigg's works are rife with allusions to poetry, sociology and philosophical writings on love – Roland Barthes, Alain Badiou, and Eva Illouz, to name a few. They are also peppered with references to time and longing. In works from her series of drawings on paper and clay, like Awaiting for the sky to overwhelm (2018) or Rooted in the dark interior of delay ( 2018), we see loose groups of nude figures – a take on Renoir's Bathers, perhaps? – engaged in familiar, yet indistinct gestures, their contours suggesting snapshots of moments in time. At the same time, they are infused with a dose of anxiety of the kind commonly induced by contemporary digital romance: how long to wait before double texting after you’ve been left on ‘read’?

“Every contact, for the lover, raises the question of an answer: the skin is asked to reply”, Roland Barthes wrote in A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments (1977), from which the exhibition’s title is drawn. Love, as encountered in Monika Grabuschnigg's work, thus evolves in two temporal dimensions. The one, proper to the digital realm of data flows, creates a version of romance fed to us by neoliberalism which makes us ignore material reality in favor of fantasy. The other is embodied in the tactile viscerality of objects fired, punctured, scribbled upon, water spurting and bubbling. Grabuschnigg makes no attempt to conceal cracks in the clay: instead, she highlights them, like the visible relics of trauma – or of a broken touchscreen. Together, these works create a liminal space where desire vacillates between the real and the imagined, a world where fantasy and embodied experience collide and coalesce, electrified.

- Rachel Walker, 2019

Link full exhibition documentation.

Images: Dotgain & Pedro Carnicer Orueta & David Schönen | Courtesy the artist & Reiter Galleries

The Garden Bridge

Brücke Museum Berlin
11 August –13 October 2019

Curated by Kinderhook & Caracas

The Garden Bridge
is an outdoor project in the garden of Brücke-Museum. Inspired by the Brücke artists’ original stated intentions of bridging the old and the new, project space Kinderhook & Caracas (run by artists Sol Calero and Christopher Kline) have curated an outdoor project featuring works and performances by contemporary Berlin-based artists aimed at expanding the discourse surrounding the canonizing of historical, future-focused art movements.

Artists: Ana Alenso, Kasia Fudakowski, Monika Grabuschnigg, Petrit Halilaj & Alvaro Urbano, Stephen Kent, Nuri Koerfer, Annika Rixen

And STONEROSES (Mirak Jamal and Santiago Taccetti): a walk in the woods with works by Jazmin Berakha, Susann Brännström & Tore Wallert, Diego Castro, Enrique Giner de los Rios, Joseph H, Joe Hoyt, Jay Isaac, Melanie Kitti, Kareem Lotfy, Sam Marshall-Lockyer, Marlie Mul, Beatriz Olabarrieta, Adriana Ramic, Ben Schumacher, Stephen Suckale, Anne de Vries, Angharad Williams. For current dates please visit our Calender.

With performances by Sea Urchin and Heatsick at the opening on 11 August 2019


Monika Grabuschnigg & Jake Kent

SOX Berlin
11 October – 15 November 2019

Penultimate ode

Not allowed to rest, neither to fulfil the prophecy of inherent fears. Molten, entangled bodies of meaninglessness, weeping over the remnants of irrelevance. A meadow of bitter-tasting flowers, all withered just before finding salvation, facing the eternal gloom of limbo. Stars and moons cast shadows that protect us from death. Say goodbye, my two lonely friends, for you will grow from the roots of berry bushes and apple trees. No life-saving juice is dripping from the honeycombs anymore. With ghostly fingers, the anti-ouroboros wrote about vulnerability in cryptic writing. Reanimated shells, shattered with the mourning for an archaic and indispensable void. All is beyond loss, beyond the evaporating incense of apocalyptic self-realisation.

A non-integrated self, desired in the present, left in the past, walking with a cloud of thunder and a joker face into 15 years of future. Creating a tomb for romantic ideas to avoid thinking about tomorrow. Defeating the daily giants, still haunted by the enchanted souls of the non- binary. An empty, lifeless castle covered in poison ivy, and sweet Oreo cookies appeal to the absence inside. Damp and doubtful masks falling in a space of nothingness with punk music playing in the background. Guts exploding, spikes growing from within, contributing to the erasure of meditative ashes.

- Text Martin Maeller

Carbon12, Dubai, UAE
12 May – 2 September, 2018

Watching the secretive whispers fade away, 2018
Glazed earthenware and resin, 107 x 56 x 4 cm

Opting out, 2018
Mixed media on paper, 50 x 65 cm

We drink the night with a thirst no lake big enough could ever quench, 2018
Glazed earthenware and resin, 110 x 78 x 4 cm


Left: Grape harvest with the vaulty heaven so high above our heads, 2018
Mixed media on paper, 30 x 42 cm

Right: Gathering in fool's paradise, 2018
Mixed media on paper, 30 x 42 cm

Study of an obsessive night, 2018
Mixed media on paper, 30 x 42 cm

All my body sees you in delay, 2018
Mixed media on paper, 30 x 42 cm

Combining large-scale clay reliefs and drawings, Monika Grabuschnigg’s first solo exhibition, What satisfaction could you possibly have, explores the dislocated intimacies and disembodied desires of humans living in highly digitized societies.

How we search for and connect with others, how we long for, flirt and fantasize together is changing dramatically. The apps and websites we turn to seem to offer direct portals to other lives – immediate & intimate interactions that can lead to in-the-flesh satisfactions. But there is no unmediated exchange: we are subject to, and encouraged to enact, self-censorship, self-exploitation. Our loves and loneliness mined for profit. Each of us put to work as blister-thumbed miner.

Both the reliefs and drawings in the show reference the ever-present screens through which this happens. We see fractured and repaired bodies morphing into one another; cropped and cracked identities exaggerated and engorged by algorithmic bias; character-limited emotions congealing into searching limbs, messy embraces and visceral gazes.

Materially vulnerable, tonally fleshy, the inch-thick, flat-to-the-wall reliefs feel like substantial moments captured through a haze of distortion: the analog and digital worlds clashing head-on. The forms in the drawings are more of-this-worldly, but more deeply mired in dream-states. Created after (rather than as sketches for) the reliefs they feel like moments of surveillance: evidence gathered from tapping the data flows between the babbling ceramic.

The works are also intensely human – or human-ish. An ish that makes them all the more engaging. There is no easy, singular narrative on offer. Instead we are confronted with an insistent, information-rich polyphony: a polyamory of meaning. We see you, these works say, because you see us. We know you, because you know us. We surround you, because we are you.

Grabuschnigg describes her studio practice as a “near manic state, a kind of intense dancing in which I test & exploit my materials’ limits, try to trick them into doing something new”. Which is what we all can do with the tools and technologies that surround us, that know us, that are us. Recognize ourselves in them. Uncover the tricks we’re subject to. Then trick back, just as hard. Harder.

-Martin Jackson
April, 2018

2018, Shakespeare, Shelley and Cyberspace -  Alserkal Avanue review (online) & PDF

Artwork images courtesy of the artist and Carbon 12

Horse and Pony Fine Arts Berlin

29 April - June 10, 2018

Exhibition view, Haptic House at Horse and Pony Fine Arts Berlin, 2018

So it is a lover who bubbles and who foams, 2017
Clay, acrylic paint, resin, metal and pump station, 150 x 90 x 90 cm


Left: You’ve been everywhere but here, 2017
Glazed earthenware, platinum luster, glass, acrylic, resin, epoxy putty, concrete and metal, 228 x 74 x 65 cm

Right: Calling on the moon, 2017
Glazed earthenware, platinum luster, glass, acrylic, resin, epoxy putty, concrete and metal, 213 x 63 x 48 cm

GeoVanna Gonzalez, Keep down the blinds and fold
Site specific installation, mixed media with sound. 2018
(Featuring Monika Grabuschnigg, Holder 14, Glazed earthenware and resin).

Pictures by Michale Ruglio-Misurell

Florian Oellers capturing Haptic House with a 35mm camera:

So it is a lover who bubbles and who foams, 2017
Clay, acrylic paint, resin, metal and pump station, 150 x 90 x 90 cm

Left: You’ve been everywhere but here. Glazed earthenware, platinum luster, glass, acrylic, resin, epoxy putty, concrete and metal 2017
Right:  So it is a lover who bubbles and who foams. Clay, acrylic paint, resin, metal and pump station 2017

KubaParis Review

Full Exhibition Documentation PDF

Berlin Art Prize 2018, Nominee exhibition

Berlin Art Prize 2018 

Installation: What shall I swear by, 2017
The shelf, Berlin
Image credit Anastasia Muna

Opening night
Image credit Mathias Voelzke

So it is a lover who bubbles and who foams, 2017
Clay, acrylic paint, resin, metal and pump station, 150 x 90 x 90 cm

Calling on the moon, 2017
Glazed earthenware, platinum luster, glass, acrylic, resin, epoxy putty, concrete and metal, 213 x 63 x 48 cm

You’ve been everywhere but here, 2017
Glazed earthenware, platinum luster, glass, acrylic, resin, epoxy putty, concrete and metal, 228 x 74 x 65 cm

The series What shall I swear by (2017) probes the remains and new gestations of love and intimacy in our emotionally precarious culture, where narcissism and self-optimization, gamophobia and Xanax comprise the toolbox for encountering others. Imposing, naked, fleshy and vulnerable, the family – or threesome – of sculptures gesticulate, flirt and gurgle with desire incarnated.

Titled by a line lifted from the balcony scene of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, the intensely physical installation is arranged as a kind of modern day Globe. Swiped onto stage, viewers are invited to entangle themselves in the lines of desire crackling between the players. Once implicated, we tune in to the script that reveals capitalism as encouraging disengagement, rewarding lives lived through fantasy instead of reality (Laurie Essig); as valorizing decisions made through cold, cynical calculation instead of gut-deep impulse or emotio-rational risk-taking (Eva Illouz).

Drawing as much on pop culture as philosophy, the series is concerned with how Hollywood, Netflix and the music industry are the new arbiters of intimate thought, the new dictators of decision-making. Where previously family, religion and educational institutions delineated and (mis-)guided us through the realms of intimacy, now it is the superstructures of high-capital directing the flavors and depths of our joy and shame, our guilt and ecstasy. Sex has always sold – now so do our crushes and heartbreaks, fetishes and longings and every slippery nuance of how we attempt to live amongst and intertwine with each other.

Paraphrasing its title from a line from Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse, Fragments, the fountain work in the series – “So it is a lover who bubbles and who foams” – was created in response to the pop song Soap by Melanie Martinez. The song’s narrator admonishes herself for spilling that dirty word love, and reveals the impulse to self-punish: “I feel it coming out my throat / Guess I better wash my mouth out with soap / God, I wish I never spoke…” The video has been watched 30 million times on YouTube, with nearly 100 million plays on Spotify.

The two sculptures “Calling on the Moon” and “You’ve been everywhere but here” embody two opposing yet interdependent characters. Manifestations of “I-need” and “I-take”, they can be seen as incarnations of one being, one mind. Or, as attracted opposites, they function as a reminder of the potential beauty in messy chemistry, that ability of desire to creep unexpectedly into the otherwise overly-ordered fabric of our lives.

Overall, this corpulent triptych offers as much hope as it does critique. Our appetites and inclinations are being reduced to minable data-currency, and the courage we need to let ourselves fall is being soldered, siliconized, but in new forms and guises love as “an individual experience of potential universality” (Badiou) will always rise, always erupt, always resist. All we need are new scripts to enact. New stages to invade. New love to foam and gurgle out from the very core of us.

  • Martin Jackson  

Image credits if not mentioned differently by Asaf Oren.
© Monika Grabuschnigg