In 1954 the original B/W film Gojira premiered in Japan as a dark response to the atomic disasters during WWII as well as the American nuclear testing in the Pacific arena. Created by the corruption of nature, Gojira is a prehistoric monster who rises out of the sea to destroy Japan. His arbitrary destruction is a metaphor for the rise of the atomic era.
A "Wexelblat Disaster" is defined as: "...a disaster caused by the interaction of natural phenomena with human technology. Specifically, it refers to a class of disasters occurring because humans built systems to human scale that affect the planet and climate, which operate at very different scales. A natural event damages some technological device or installation, and it's failure precipitates much greater harm than the initial event."
In our global crucible, the consequences of environmental disaster at the hands of humans are no longer isolated distant events. We are finding ourselves deeply connected through the voices of technology and progress, such as witnessing the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the coast of Japan in 2011. A monster rose from the sea and left a nuclear catastrophe. The query for the Godzilla Attacks project was how to use a literal monster attacking Congress Street as a way to connect Portland's trajectory with the larger world as we know it.
Godzilla Attacks began as a public performance conceived of by Greta Bank and Scott Peterman, who collaborated with several Maine artists including costume set designers, filmmakers, photographers, actors, directors and technicians. It has subsequently developed into a short film and window installation. The film is a hybrid mixture of Super 8 film, Suitmation and digital stop motion photography.
This project was funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, along with generous support from SPACE Gallery and Andy Graham at Portland Color-DESIGNTEX Surface Imaging.