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Quick Take: Talking Heads by Matthew Rolston

Ventriloquist's dummies (cough, cough figurines) take center stage

If Matthew Rolston’s high-concept images of celebrities made them look like living dolls, his take on actual ventriloquist’s dummies achieves the reverse effect. In Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits, the L.A. photographer has trained his lens on 100 vintage wooden figures selected from Kentucky’s Vent Haven Museum. The portraits are by turns beguiling, amusing, and maniacal, but through the clarity of Rolston’s gaze they are rendered all too human. (Pointed Leaf Press, 224 pages, $75.)