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Themesicon: navigation pathCyborg Bodiesicon: navigation pathMythical Bodies II

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mutation of her facial features—such as in «Omniprésence » (1993)—as works of art and places them on exhibition. Above all, however, she ardently rejects the myth of the ‹whole human› those are devoted to who use the new body technologies to transform their own bodies according to an ideal image: It is characteristic for Orlan that the ‹model› for the «Reincarnation of Saint Orlan» was a patchwork put together out of disparate body images whose contours all too obviously compete with one another. Thus the transfer of this process to the human body hardly leads to an incarnation of ‹supernatural› beauty: Not only does the violence of the surgery—the scars, the swelling, the bruises that disfigure her face—become visible in the photographs, there is also something monstrous about the result of this surgical process—a face composed of the features of other persons. [21] This applies even more to «Self-Hybridations» (1998 ff.), with which in a similar way Orlan has in the meantime also incorporated fragmentized ideals of beauty from other times and other cultures. [22] Phenomena of hybridization, as they are characteristic for the post-colonial age, are


condensed into figures of transgression, whose corpo-reality make the breaks and cuts visible instead of covering them up—a working method similar to the one we encounter with the artist group Mongrel. Concurrent with their project «Natural Selection» (1998), in which stories about experiences of everyday racism were woven together using multi-media, they put out animated images and posters in which the facial features of people of different ethnic groups were stitched together. In the tradition of a culture which regards the idea of the ‹whole› white man as the crowning glory of creation, voluntarily imagining, recognizing or even creating one's self as a «patchwork» is connoted with fear. Correspondingly, it is hardly a coincidence that this is the material that «freak shows» and horror films fall back on—from Frankenstein's monster to Jame Gumb in «The Silence of the Lambs,» who sews himself a second skin out of patches of skin he has removed from the women he murdered. [23]

Image processing methods

Under the sign of «cyborgization» it is in fact body

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