Persona: A Body in Parts
Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Pennsylvania, Greensboro, 09/17/2011 - 12/11/2011
Persona: A Body in Parts explores alternate and multiple representations of the self in current visual art. Organized by Weatherspoon Curator of Exhibitions, Xandra Eden, the exhibition includes a striking selection of work in which the body, whether the artist’s own or another’s, becomes a surrogate, plastic form from which multiple and complex identities are projected. Artists participating in the exhibition include Barbara Probst, Nikki S. Lee, Carter, Kate Gilmore, Nick Cave, and Gillian Wearing.
The artists in Persona adopt chameleon-like personas, don self-made “second skins,” and project fragmented views of the body, to create a view of identity similar to the effect of light shining through a prism, each part separating out into different, though often enigmatic, representations of the self.
The work in Persona: A Body in Parts has its historical roots in early body and performance art of the 1970s, such as that of Ana Mendieta and Rebecca Horn, and later artists who explored more artificial or media-driven selves, including Cindy Sherman and Yasumasa Morimura. Each artist in the exhibition provides valuable insight into thinking about the body as participating in a series of knowledge-producing relations, rather than as a distinct, static entity.