Niagara Falls Project - 1974
Film and video installation with mirrored platform
This film installation is about the near-death experience of Roger Woodward who, when a boy, survived an accidental plunge over Niagara Falls. My 30 minute video tape interview, 14 years after the incident, is shown on a monitor centered in a mirror surfaced and wedge-shaped platform. Just above this platform is a continuously projected 4-minute film following Woodward’s route down the river and over the falls. Shot in 35mm Panavision from a low flying helicopter, the wide screen image glides forward very close to the water. The gradual building of thundering sound and relentless oncoming image of Niagara’s mist is both frightening and dreamlike. The video is focused entirely on Woodward’s face as a counterpoint to the film. It moves forward carried by the story, language and gesture. When the film reaches the edge and into Niagara’s mist, it begins again, returning to the river like a recurring nightmare. Likewise, the video tells Woodward’s story endlessly. Until 2003, when Kirk Jones purposely went over the falls, Roger Woodward was the only person to fall without protection and live to tell about it.
Review(s) on Niagara Falls Project, 1974