Read My Lips
Four contemporary videos explore the female voice
The four videos installed in the Krupp Gallery consider the female voice—where it’s accepted and how it’s suppressed; its treatment as simultaneously alluring and repulsive; and its relationship to the body.
Works by Patty Chang and Marilyn Minter subvert idealized images of women by introducing an element of the grotesque. In Hand to Mouth (2000), Chang parodies the superficial roles women occupy in fetish films, while Minter’s Green Pink Caviar (2009) features an artfully made-up mouth lapping and regurgitating green slime in slow motion—blurring the line between desire and disgust.
Other works give visual form to the sound of a woman’s voice. VALIE EXPORT goes to the literal source of speech in i turn over the pictures of my voice in my head (2009), training a medical endoscopy camera on her own larynx while she recites a poem. In Fingernails on a blackboard: Bella (2014), Sharon Hayes displays a conversation between a vocal coach and former US congresswomen Bella Abzug as white text on a blue screen. The dialogue shows the stentorian Abzug practicing a number of absurd vocal exercises in order to achieve a softer tone.