The term catastrophe refers to events of destruction that exceed the existing order of perception and depiction, producing a new one at the same time. The catastrophic event becomes the measure of all prospective catastrophe events.
The term model can refer to a wide variety of things that are used as tools for describing something. It derived from the Latin word modulus, the diminutive of modus, meaning measure.
Modeling Catastrophe juxtaposes examples of models that are used to exemplify events of catastrophe. Looking at how the Chernobyl disaster is reconstructed and portrayed in Ukrainian and Belarusian museums, a correlation to prognoses of catastrophe, compiled by reinsurers and other international institutions is sought for.
In a video projection museum staff explain Chernobyl-related miniature models and print media. Their statements draw a line to the current situation in Japan, two and a half years after the Fukushima-meltdown that had occurred subsequent to the great Tōhoku earthquake and the successional tsunami.
The installation furthermore reflects on Japan-specific traditional customs of risk mitigation and awareness (i.e. tsunami warning stones) as well as current developments in mitigating the risk and outcome of anticipated future natural disasters with so-called green infrastructure.
Modeling Catastrophe – A Test Arrangement, Nov 2013, wood, various casting compounds, steel rack, found objects, HD-video projection. 35 min, installation view: Studio 1-8-5, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, Japan.