Video

The Tiny Ventriloquist

Steve Reinke

2012, 60:25 minutes, colour, English

TAPECODE 345.150

The Tiny Ventriloquist is a suite of shorter works. Perhaps the titles to some of the components best communicate the breadth and flavour of the work: Great Blood Sacrifice, Beaver Skull Magick, Cartoon for those who have a certain fondness for ideas but are tired of thinking, The Root problem of the World, My Name is Karlheinz Stockhausen, Ass Reclaim Insert, What is Called Drinking (We Have Not Yet Begun to Drink). In these works, Reinke tries on and discards many voices, stances, histories, and ideologies. His style ranges from drawn animation to home and diary video to found footage. Connecting the wide range of stylistic approaches is Steve Reinke himself, acting as the narrator of his darkly humorous miniatures. Together they form a machine for draining all meaning from the world.

“It's his voice you notice first of all. You can't help noticing. Beuys had his uniform, Warhol his silk screen, Steve Reinke has his voice. It is a kind of signature, a costume for the masquerade of personality, but more importantly: a guarantor of pleasure. Listening to this voice, I imagine again the thousands of moviegoers who once swooned at the sight of Garbo's face, that mask of light that trapped everyone who passed into the Medusa stare of cinema. Like Garbo, Steve's voice manages a universal appeal and an individual promise, a promise no less real for remaining always a secret.” - Mike Hoolboom

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