by Steven Rosen 10.16.2015 43 days ago
at 01:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Local Vent Haven Ventriloquism Museum Is Subject of New Avant-Garde Play in Chicago

Vent Haven — Fort Mitchell’s ventriloquism museum that is the only one in the world devoted to the subject — continues to be of interest to the art world at large.Photographers Laurie Simmons and Matthew Rolston have both previously done series based on its collection of dummies, and Simmons even used them in a 40-minute film, The Music of Regret, that also starred Meryl Streep. Now Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art is hosting a new theater work, The Ventriloquists Convention, that is based on the annual event here that Vent Haven sponsors. According to the MCA, “the piece imagines meetings among the convention delegates and their dummies, who each maintain distinct voices and identities.” European director/choreographer Gisèle Vienne is working with American novelist Dennis Cooper on this project, joined by German puppet-theater company Puppentheater Halle. The MCA also says that Vienne and Cooper “developed their approach for this show from documentary and fictional sources, building it into a group of quirky portraits of ventriloquists celebrating their shared interests and friendship. The show explores why ventriloquists do what they do, and what lies behind the relationships that they have with their dummies. “Performed by nine ventriloquists-puppeteers, the piece hinges on the use of multiple layered dialogues, including the ghostly, non-physical ventriloquists' voices. These portraits enable Gisèle Vienne to continue her ongoing research into the interplay between physical presence and dissociation that she had developed in prior projects.” If you want to attend (no word yet on Cincinnati performances), The Ventriloquists Convention takes place Nov. 12-14 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $30 and available at the MCA Box Office at 312-397-4010 or mcachicago.org. The Ventriloquists Convention is supported by the French-American Fund for Contemporary Theater, an initiative of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S. and the Institut Français, It is also funded by the Florence Gould Foundation and the Catherine Popesco Foundation for the Arts. Additional support comes from the Goethe-Institut and the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany.
by Steven Rosen 06.12.2013
Posted In: Visual Art at 10:36 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
vent haven diane keaton, matthew rolston

Vent Haven Museum Book Gets Star-Studded L.A. Party

Release features large-format prints, documentary, celebs

The publicist for photographer Matthew Rolston's book, Talking Heads, The Vent Haven Portraits (featured in this 2012 CityBeat article), recently sent photos from Rolston's book-publication party in L.A. Here's an excerpt from the accompanying release: "On Friday, May 10th, actress and author Diane Keaton, renowned art collector Kay Saatchi and Joel Chen, owner of Los Angeles' top resource for antiques and vintage furniture JF Chen, celebrated influential American celebrity photographer and director Matthew Rolston’s new book at JF Chen. Featuring 100 ‘headshots’ of a rare collection of ventriloquist dummies unearthed from the intimate and obscure Vent Haven Museum in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky (the world’s only museum dedicated to the art of ventriloquism), the book is a departure from the celebrity portraiture for which Rolston is known and marks his first foray into the world of fine art." A documentary about Rolston's project also was shown. Other guests included actor John C. Reilly and songwriter Diane Warren. Vent Haven, incidentally, is planning an exhibit of the photos, though not the large-format prints shown at Chen's store. Actor John C. Reilly. Photo: Provided.The book and its subject matter have proven a real draw, earning articles and photo spreads in many publications and making "obscure" Vent Haven one of Cincinnati's most fascinating museums.For hours and more information on Vent Haven Museum, go here.

Dummy Up

Photographer Matthew Rolston features Vent Haven figures in upcoming book

0 Comments · Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Matthew Rolston has taken close-up portraits, startlingly realistic headshots, of some 200 figures — colloquially known as dummies — at Fort Mitchell, Ky.’s Vent Haven ventriloquism museum. The results are in a new book, Talking Heads, to be published next month by Pointed Leaf Press.  
by Jac Kern 07.19.2012
at 12:49 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Your Thursday To Do List

There is a ventriloquist convention in town this week. Seriously! The Vent Haven ConVENTion takes over Cincinnati Airport Marriott daily through Saturday, and it’s got a full bill. Learn about the art of ventriloquism, browse puppets from dozens of vendors and enjoy entertainment from pros (the convention culminates with comedian Jeff Dunham speaking Saturday afternoon). The event is a product of Vent Haven Museum in Fort Mitchell, the only ventriloquist museum in the world. If you want to skip the creepy puppets and cut straight to the comedy, see Dunham tonight at The Bank of Kentucky Center. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $47.40. It’s Founders Brewing Co. Night at The Lackman, where three Founders’ beers will be tapped: Devil Dancer triple IPA, All Day IPA session ale and Dry Hopped Pale Ale. Swing by after work to give ‘em a taste. Over in Northside is Projectmill’s Slurring Bee at Mayday. Sign up at 9 p.m. and pay $5 to compete. It’s pretty simple: take a shot, spell a word. Every word you spell correctly grants you another shot. It’s like an alcoholic workout for your cranium! You don’t need to stay in the city to have a fun Thursday — the Warren County Fair keeps truckin’ tonight with harness racing at 6 p.m., "Warren County Has Talent" at 7 p.m. and karaoke at 9 p.m. Admission tonight is $15 per carload. Tonight and Friday, the CAC offers the rare chance to see a multimedia performance piece about LGBTQ oppression in Uganda. Artist Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine combines photographs, video and live performance in A Missionary Position  to portray the homophobia running rampant in Uganda, through a wide scope of perspectives. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20, $14 for members.

Vent Haven: Ventriloquism Museum

More than just a 'museum for dummies'

1 Comment · Wednesday, July 15, 2009
For a world-class museum, Greater Cincinnati's Vent Haven Museum attracts precious few visitors. How to increase attendance is problematic since it raises the issue of what kind of place Vent Haven is meant to be. It's the only major public museum devoted to ventriloquism (the art of throwing voices) and has more than 750 historic and/or unusual ventriloquial figures.