Dead Eyes, Hinged Mouth, Never Sleep Again, Dead Eyes, Hinged Mouth, Never Sleep Again...
January 4, 2013 9:05 AM   Subscribe

Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits is a new book by Matthew Rolston which explores the history and style of ventriloquist dummies. Buzzfeed has collected some of the most interesting (and creepy) of the portraits contained within.
posted by quin (10 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

Forgive me but I thought the first link was a new release from my favorite band.
posted by tommasz at 9:45 AM on January 4, 2013 [2 favorites]

Would it kill BF to give some context of the heads we're looking at?
posted by photoslob at 9:45 AM on January 4, 2013

The portraits reminded me of this relic.
posted by TedW at 9:53 AM on January 4, 2013

These are incredible photos. I love seeing the detail, craftsmanship, repairs and patching, and wear-and-tear. The individual personalities are as varied as the people who made them and brought them to life. They had to be garish for the same reason theatrical make-up looks ridiculous up close.

I only just learned that Vent Haven exists when I watched Nina Conti's film Her Master's Voice on Netflix. The museum, the film, and the subject matter all give me the same mix of feelings: they're funny, creepy, sweet, weird, sad.

Vent Haven is where dummies go when their ventriloquists have died. It's a collection of still, silent, dusty figures sitting in rows among collected memorabilia. They were made to be animated and snappy-witted and larger than life, painted for the stage. They're a unique kind of memorial for the people who put life into them. It's just so poignant because having been extra-vivid when 'alive', now they're just like little grimacing corpses.
posted by Lou Stuells at 9:55 AM on January 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

These are certainly fantastic portraits, though I can't really differentiate between the interesting and the creepy (they’re all interestingly creepy to me and will haunt me in my dreams and maybe my waking life).
posted by but no cigar at 10:15 AM on January 4, 2013

Needs more Weymouth.
posted by humboldt32 at 10:32 AM on January 4, 2013

Nope. Uh-huh. I saw this movie when I was a kid and never recovered.
posted by candyland at 10:50 AM on January 4, 2013

This is not my beautiful head.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:55 AM on January 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

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