The Art of the Earthquake

Photo: Gavin Brown's Enterprise
Photo: Deitch Projects
Photo: Tate
Photo: MOCA LA
Photo: Kwong Yee Cheng / Flickr
Photo: Toledo Art Museum
Photo: Andrew Moore
Photo: Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary

Today’s 5.8-magnitude earthquake shook The Observer newsroom in Midtown Manhattan, but once it passed, our minds turned to finer things–contemporary art, namely, that fine and elegant mediator of trauma.

At left, a guide to the works through which we experienced, and are reflecting on, the tumult, from Doris Salcedo’s terrifying cracked floor at Tate Modern—a foreboding sign of doom—to scenes of post-apocalyptic disaster by the likes of Urs Fischer and Christoph Büchel.

We conclude with Carsten Holler’s Upside-Down Glasses, designed to do exactly what their title suggests, showing a changed world, a world that we avoided today.