The word ‘Persona’ – meaning ‘mask’ – derives from the Latin per (through) and sonare (to sound), essentially ‘that through which the actor speaks’ (early Greek actors wore masks.) Its meaning is usually understood as the voice representing the speaker in a literary work or a character in a play.
‘Persona’ is also the name of my favorite film, made by Ingmar Bergman in 1966. It is a story about an actress that is refusing to speak (Liv Ullman) and her nurse (Bibi Andersson), who cares for her in a vacation home by the sea.
Who speaks in a film? The director? The actors? The viewer, through the interpretation(a parasitical footnote) he or she makes, based on individual experiences and desires? In this project I have attempted to extract the voices in the periphery of the film “Persona”, its production and reception. I wanted to shed light on the agents not considered as authors (authorities) but that somehow still touched some aspect of the narrative. The archive consists of 7 works (7 voices) that are shown separately or together in an installation, entitled “The Persona Project 2000-2010”.
In “VIDEOACTIVE” we follow the fate of a Persona VHS rental tape, which is placed on the “Lesbian Theme Shelf” by a videostore employee. The tape is then repeatedly moved back to the “Ingmar Bergman” shelf by a customer, exposing conflicting framings and interpretations of the film. “CINETYP” is about a man in charge of the restoring of “lost” dialog in the censured American subtitling, who has authority of the content without having a real knowledge of Swedish. ADR, a sound installation, is about the dubbed to english version of Persona. The last project, HEDVIG/ THE SET HOUSE is aboutwoman, Hedvig, who lives in the set house built for the filming of Persona on the island of Fårö, and whose privacy is violated by tourists who wants her to pose as one of the characters in the film.