Orlan Cover Image

Orlan

Millennial Female

eBook

Kate Ince


ISBN:
978-1-8478-8882-2 (online)
978-1-8597-3334-9 (hardback)
978-1-8597-3339-4 (paperback)
978-1-8478-8279-0 (epdf)
Published:
2000
DOI:
10.2752/9781847888822
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Abstract

The French performance artist Orlan has acquired both fame and infamy for her performances. A multimedia artist since the 1960s, she embarked at the beginning of the 1990s on a project of body modification through plastic surgery, the basic premise of which was to transform herself into a digitally designed pastiche of the greatest icons of female beauty in Western art. Orlan’s project has sparked intense debate in the visual arts, among feminists, and among those concerned with medical ethics, as it raises complex questions about sexuality, beauty, subjectivity, gender and technology. This book addresses all these issues, and focuses on the interrelations of dress, body and culture in Orlan’s work since the 1960s. Surgical performances represent the most extreme phase of Orlan’s artistic practice, but she has made extensive and varied use of costume throughout her career. Using the ‘body theory’ and theories of monstrosity developed by feminist, gender and film theorists, and the work of philosophers Luce Irigaray and Gilles Deleuze, the author examines the challenges Orlan’s performance art poses to its viewers. Anyone working in the fields of gender, the visual arts or cultural studies will find this book and the questions it raises provocative and enlightening.