Örjan Kristenson - Persona Non Grata

In 'Persona Non Grata (Pictures From the Dark Side of the Moon)' Örjan Kristenson (Sweden, 1958) pictures the unspeakable. In his personal life he came into contact with how our efficient society denies the problems that exist within it. Kristenson lived for six years with an HIV-positive woman and experienced the fear for the social stigma, indissolubly connected to the disease. Later Kristenson had a severe accident. He became dependent on pain killers and after a while realized he had become an addict. Speaking about this was a taboo again.

He decided to use photography as a means of channelling his emotions. This offered him a possibility to be honest about human shortcomings, in a manner that was less offensive to others. In this exhibition he mainly presents self-portraits. These are staged, using classical means; according to Kristenson, the power of illusion that pure photography holds is strongly underrated in this digital era.

Kristenson has been photographing since 1975. He teaches, gives lectures and has worked for a long time with Christer Strömholm, the nestor of Swedish photography.