Liisa Lounila’s Niagara (2009) is screened at Festival Histoire et Cité, held in Genève from March 28–30. Niagara is included in the video art screening “Waterproof“, including e.g. videos by Bill Viola and Jean Painlevé. The screenings take place on Thursday, March 28, at 18:00; Friday, March 29, at 11:30, and Saturday, March 30, at 10:30.
Lounila’s Niagara examines Niagara Falls, on the border between The United States and Canada, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region, voted one of the seven wonders of the world. As an eternal and unchained natural wonder, the falls offer a chance to experience the sublime through the overpowering sound of the body of water, safeguarded only by a low railing. An industry of attractions has developed around the falls in order to entertain the visitors who are bored by the monotony of the natural phenomenon. In the city of Niagara, there are a number of 3D cinemas, in which the experience of the falls is made even ‘more real’. Most of us have ‘experienced’ the falls somewhere other than on location. What is not mentioned in the travel guides is that the falls are closed down at midnight and the lights are turned off. As the lights go out the performance ends, but the sound tells us the falls are very much still there. The fiction that Niagara Falls has been moulded into, is suddenly real as such, just for a moment.
Liisa Lounila (b.1976) lives and works in Helsinki. Her main mediums are experimental film/video, photography and painting. Her works usually deal with an obscure need for change, great expectations and places of potential. Usually her pictures, both still and moving, have their background in movies, yellow papers, lifestyle magazines and pop lyrics.
Festival Histoire et Cité, March 28–30 2019, Genève, Switzerland
More information: Festival Histoire et Cité