Get Carnal Art: Orlan’s Refacing PDF

By C. Jill O’Bryan

ISBN-10: 0816643237

ISBN-13: 9780816643233

The French artist Orlan is notorious for performances in which her physique is surgically altered. In 9 such functionality surgical procedures, beneficial properties from Greek goddesses painted via Botticelli, Gérard, Moreau, and an nameless college of Fontainebleau artist, in addition to from da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, have been implanted into Orlan’s face. in the course of her surgical performances, audience witness a cloth tampering with the connection among the face and person id, the unique and the built, a old critique of the organization of paintings with attractiveness and the feminine body.

Responding to Orlan’s definition of her functionality surgical procedures as “carnal art,” C. Jill O’Bryan considers how the artist’s ever-fluctuating reconstructions of her face query idealized attractiveness and feminine id, persuasively arguing that Orlan’s surgically reinvented face succeeds in either reinforcing and breaking up corporeal subjectivity and illustration. O’Bryan contextualizes Orlan’s operations in the centuries-long historical past of public dissections and surgical procedures, lavish anatomical illustrations created to attract the gaze into the opened anatomy, Artaud’s “Theater of Cruelty” within the early 20th century, and modern works and performances through Cindy Sherman, Hans Bellman, and Annie Sprinkle.
A compelling blurring of the road among feminist thought and artwork feedback, O’Bryan’s shut exam of Orlan’s functionality surgical procedures complicates and reconfigures the inspiration of identity—and its relation to the body—at the very boundary dividing artwork from id.

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Extra resources for Carnal Art: Orlan’s Refacing

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Female beauty is at one and the same time the monstrous feminine. In the photograph Official Portrait with Bride of Frankenstein Wig (), taken just after the third surgery,74 Orlan leans forward, resting her chin on one hand, which wears a black glove and large gold rings (Figure ). Her plump red lips and smooth, unscarred skin are radiant. Her wig, large, black, wavy, and piled on top of her head, is adorned with two stripes of white hair that emanate from her temples. She is strikingly beautiful in this theatrical portrait.

111 However, Orlan takes a firm stand against motifs of sacrifice, mutilation, and self-abuse. But the very nature of placing the body in the center of performative action in order for it to become a transformative object problematizes the meaning behind the action: Is the artist the author, or is the artist being acted upon; is this a performance of self-assertion or of victimization? That this is not fully understood may lend power to the work, as in the case of the actionists’ performances of Dionysian ritual.

The pain that exists in Orlan’s surgical performances is transported through the images to the audience members, who participate in an Artaudian theater of cruelty. ”81 First, this is an assumption upon which Ince has absolutely no grounds. Orlan’s surgical enactments are created within a political aesthetics (albeit carnivalesque and gruesome) that informs her oeuvre, her hagiography, and her explorations into fluctuating identity. ” In “Carnal Art Manifesto” she defines carnal art as follows: Definition: Carnal Art is self-portraiture in the classical sense, but realized through the possibility of technology.

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Carnal Art: Orlan’s Refacing by C. Jill O’Bryan


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