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ORLAN «The Reincarnation of Saint Orlan» | Before the operations
ORLAN, «The Reincarnation of Saint Orlan», 1990 – 1993
Before the operations | Photography | © ORLAN

«The Reincarnation of Saint Orlan»

In «The Reincarnation of Saint Orlan,» the artist underwent facial surgery in order to make specific characteristic features from the world of art history appear more alive. Her ‹models› were Venus, Diana, Europa, Psyche, and Mona Lisa. In the process, not only were her face and body treated for the first time as a collage and manipulated (as demonstrated in the 1970s, for example, by Valie Export, Ulrike Rosenbach, and by Orlan herself), but also permanently demonstrated in keeping with a consciously anti-aesthetical criteria—since Orlan’s operations were also staged as medial events for the video camera. The consistently practiced artistic pose and stylization of the self leads here to the artificiality of all the operative corrections becoming heightened to the negative extreme, and manifesting themselves in their own hybrid state.
Also see the exhibitions «Omniprésence» (1993) and «Ceci est mon corps...ceci est mon logiciel».


Rudolf Frieling