Performer: Sarah Duffy

Camera and Sound: Jane Scarth and Sofia Akram

1 min 38 secs single-channel video

Also performed live in gallery and site specific contexts

 

In my further research into Ventriloquism, I discovered that the ancient practice of bellyspeaking and it's relationship to empowered female religious figures was not without tragedy, ambiguity and horror. Starlet ventriloquist of her day and likely epileptic, Elizabeth Barton, ended up with her head on a spike after she tried to use her powers of prophesy and ventriloquial utterances to prevent the marriage of Henry Viii and Anne Boleyn.

 

Motivated by these peculiar contradictions, I set out to become a ventriloquist singer. In particular it was my goal to learn how to sing the song 'I wanna be loved by you' without moving my lips, made famous by Marilyn Monroe. I saw that Monroe had something in common with these female ventriloquists; she was electric and wild, a master of her body, but also somehow vulnerable and subject to the gaze of others.