In 1894, King Camp Gillette, future inventor of the Gillette razor, proposed a socialist utopian city that would house the entire world by Niagara Falls. His book The Human Drift details the rise of Metropolis, his vision of the city of the future.
What if Metropolis had been built?
“Metropolis, An Alternative History of Niagara Falls” is a retrospective speculative look at Niagara Falls as both a physical and political border. Through King Camp Gillette’s vision, the city of Metropolis is explored as a border town - a zone in continual flux and tension between invention and conflict. Events from this world are spliced together with real and fabricated narratives that explore conceptions of utopias and dystopias. Through storytelling, the mythical qualities of an
alternative vision are re-interpreted to suggest a world that, though different, reflect our own understanding of particular border conditions and relationships.
The narrative was explored through newspapers, snow globes, and postcards from an alternate world. This project was created for the studio Border Town. Special thanks to Tim Maly, Emily Horne and the participants for an amazing studio.
Location: Niagara Falls, NY, US