Ventriloquism relies on the confusion between sight and hearing, puppeteer and puppet, silence and speech. Issues of agency, authorship, and objecthood are at the core of even the most conventional ventriloquist sketch: Where is the voice coming from? How is that voice split into many bodies? Who is speaking on behalf of whom?
Using this popular form of entertainment as a guide, the exhibition stages dialogues across LACMA’s collections, focusing on the misdirection of voice, silence, and sounds. Ventriloquism—objects forced to speak on behalf of an entire culture, age, or region—resonates within the history and logic of institutions devoted to the dissemination of knowledge such as libraries and museums.
Favoring conversations among objects over singular masterpieces, NOT I includes a special project by Meriç Algün in collaboration with the Los Angeles Public Library, as well as commissions by Raven Chacon, Patricia Fernández, and Puppies Puppies.
Exhibition Dates: April 1, 2021 – July 25, 2021
Location: Resnick Pavilion
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