Parkfield is the name of a Californian settlement located between Los Angeles and San Francisco directly on the San Andreas Fault, one of the world's longest and most active geological zones. The epicentre of the 1857 Fort Tejon earthquake was not far from here. One of California's severest earthquakes, it was triggered when the North American Plate and the Pacific Plate shifted up to 9 meters over a length of 300 kilometres. Because of the danger of future earthquakes, Parkfield is under close observation by the United States Geological Survey. Marianna Christofides's solo exhibition "Parkfield Studies" featuring a selection of recent moving-image works taken from a considerably more extensive research and work complex is based on a multi-week journey made by the artist along the San Andreas Fault. Interested in the impact of processes in the Earth’s interior on life forms living on the surface, she not only followed the course of the fault from north to south, past Parkfield and numerous other places, but also explored the stories from the Earth’s geological history that are inscribed on its rock layers. One of them is examined in the new 3-channel slide projection about buildings in Los Angeles and Tokyo designed in the 1920s by the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright (A canary called Cassandra, 2017). Wright erected structures on both sides of the Pacific Plate Boundary. Besides villas they especially include the luxurious Imperial Hotel, a building whose materials were drawn, in keeping with Wright’s notions on the harmony of architecture and nature, "of(f) the ground". Only a few hours before the hotel’s ceremonial opening in 1923, the Great Kantō earthquake devastated much of Tokyo; the Imperial, however, was one of the few structures to have survived relatively unscathed. It was nevertheless torn down some forty years later as a consequence of investment interests. Not only architects designing the earth such as Wright and Bruno Taut can be found in Christofides’s immersive pictorial world encompassing archival material and documentary footage but also numerous travel encounters whose existence are closely associated with "natural" disasters and their symptoms: a latent state of helplessness, of inner insecurity and sense of threat regarding everything that is capable of disturbing seemingly stable and unchangeable aspects of a world order. That such disasters often solely result from the fact that humankind itself has increasingly heightened their risk of occurring by altering natural systems or venturing into spaces that it cannot control is made manifest as an implicit narrative strand in Marianna Christofides’s works. Or put differently: "The term natural disaster is incorrect from the start because nature knows no disasters but at most dramatic processes of change instead. Such changes like (...) an earthquake only become a disaster in the reference horizon of human civilisation.” (Trans. from Ulrich Beck, “Ein strategisch inszenierter Irrtum", Süddeutsche Zeitung, 14 April 2011).