Not I: Throwing voices (1500 BCE–2020 CE)
As a guiding motif for staging dialogs across LACMA’s collections, the exhibit focuses on the misdirection of voice, silence and sounds of ventriloquism, which relies on confusion between sight and sound, 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? Amid institutions in which objects are often made to speak on behalf of cultures, ages, regions or nations, ventriloquism can be a useful way to critically assess the history, logic and social role 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 Stockholm-based artist Meriç Algün.