The L Shape: screening event with Nina Conti

September 2018
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22 September @ 13:00

Part of the Visual Artists Ireland International Speakers Series

In connection with The L Shape, the exhibition running at The Dock from September 15th to November 3rd featuring the work of artists Jenny Brady & Sarah Browne and curated by Alice Butler, this very special event comprises a screening of the award-winning documentary Her Master's Voice as well as a discussion with the ventriloquist and documentary filmmaker Nina Conti. The conversation with Nina Conti will be introduced by Sarah Browne and will centre around themes and concerns that emerge in Her Master's Voice as they relate to The L Shape, particularly ideas around voice, connection, identity, creativity and death.

"I came across Nina Conti’s film Her Master’s Voice when I was making the piece that’s in the exhibition upstairs—I was thinking about how women’s voices are expressed and listened to (or not), and particularly the idea of talking “through” other women and other artists. This led to researching ventriloquism, which was known as ‘gastromancy’ by the Ancient Greeks (stomach magic). Nina’s film has everything of that magic: it’s incredibly moving, funny, and sometimes unnerving. I’m delighted that this extraordinary film will be shared with a new audience in the Dock, alongside The L Shape exhibition." Sarah Browne

After a short stint as an actress in the Royal Shakespeare Company, Nina Conti became a ventriloquist and hasn't looked back since. Last year she won a British Comedy Award for her appearances on ‘Live at the Apollo’. Other television credits include QI, Russell Howard’s Good News, Sunday Night at the Palladium, The John Bishop Show and Christopher Guest's HBO series Family Tree. She is also a regular in Clare and the Community – the long running BBC Radio 4 comedy. In addition, Nina has turned her hand to documentary film-making with her most recent exploit ‘Clowning Around’ (in which she trained as a children's hospital clown) airing to great critical acclaim. Her directorial debut’ Her Master’s Voice’ in which she took the bereaved puppets of her mentor, Ken Campbell, to a puppet graveyard in Kentucky won her a BAFTA nomination and a Grierson Award.

Screening: Her Master's Voice Feature 59 min

A love letter to ventriloquism. Never before has watching someone talk to themselves been so mesmerising. Meet Nina the amazing ventriloquist. Sparked by the death of her mentor and lover, internationally acclaimed performer Nina Conti sets off on a pilgrimage to 'Venthaven', the resting place for puppets of dead ventriloquists. As she brings her dead lover's puppets back to life through this doc requiem, the result is at once funny, freaky and brutally honest.

The Visual Artists Ireland International Speaker series partners with key visual arts venues to bring global leaders, visionaries, and inspiring voices that are changing our world to locations across Ireland.