Persona Non Grata, 2007-08, One in the Other, London
The artists in Persona Non Grata reinvent themselves and adopt different personas as a method for producing work that is rich in narrative, whether true or false. These videos and films can be seen as an attempt to expel an unwelcome person, to exorcise a character, to cleanse the soul. The relationship between the artist and his or her persona(s) is called into question by looking at the shift between a real and a fictional world. To what extent is the artist directing events? Is the artist passive or controlling the action?
The apparatus of the work, devised by the artist, lets us fill in the gaps between what is real and imagined, and it is this creative process that allows us to enter their world. It is the leap of faith on behalf of the viewer that makes the work compelling. Persona Non Grata presents artists’ film and video that examines these notions using a variety of different strategies. The selection encompasses the past four decades, combining well-established artists and emerging newcomers.