The Making of Junior
(+ Entertaining Junior)
The Nine Collections of the 7th Museum
177. The Making of Junior, The Junior Collection, 1994
Video: 16 mins
Junior was conceived in a hotel in Den Haag in 1994. While staying in the Dutch city researching a public art commission (which would eventually become the multi-media work The Nine Collections of the Seventh Museum) Georgina Starr created a homunculus made from stuffed nylon tights. It was the beginning of a performative relationship that would span the next 25 years. The Making of Junior (+ Entertaining Junior) follows Starr as she meticulously forms Junior before the two have their first conversation, perform magic tricks, visit the local beach and record a duet together.
While discussing 'Junior' in an interview with Dr. Dominic Paterson for MAP magazine in 2015 , Starr said :
The recorded female voice has been a constant throughout all my work...I was never particularly interested in the idea of ventriloquism until I created Junior. I made this small version of myself so I would be able to have a conversation with myself, and especially the part of myself I felt unable to vocalise at the time. I never thought about what kind of voice I was going to give to her until it actually came out of my mouth. I was filming myself making Junior (I filmed everything I did back then), and when she was finished it felt natural that we should converse with one another. I was surprised when her voice arrived as it sounded very ‘Yorkshire’, a lot like my own voice would have done when I was child. It was as if the voice of Junior was channeled through from the past. Many years later when I began visiting the spiritualist mediums I saw parallels with ventriloquism as the mediums were like puppets speaking the words and thoughts of the dead. This is what is fascinating to me, especially with trance mediums. It is very much connected to religious belief and in my case to Catholicism. Giving a voice to inanimate objects feels quite natural to the Catholic.
See also The Joyful Mysteries of Junior (2012)
Interview with Starr for MAP magazine in 2015.
I AM A RECORD