Orlan is one of the most challenging and thought-provoking artists working today. Born in France in 1947, she began her highly unconventional career at the age of seventeen with a series of works including staged photographs of her own body, which has become the characteristic expression of her creative voice. Needing to reach beyond the limits of body art, Orlan wrote a manifesto on what she terms Carnal Art - defined as "a self-portrait in the classical sense, yet realized through the technology of its time. Lying between disfiguration and figuration, it is an inscription in flesh." Using the operating theater as a studio, she has undergone a series of filmed plastic surgery operations to modify her own body - her canvas - including the placing of cheekbone implants under the skin of her forehead. The aim of this monograph is to introduce the works and theories of Orlan to a wider public.
Presented chronologically, fully illustrated and with a detailed, analytical text - including a biography, a chronology of her exhibitions, and critical studies of the significance of her Carnal Art performances - Orlan is a must-read for anyone interested in current artistic developments in Europe.
Bernard Blistene, art historian, is head of exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou, and has been nominated as the next director of the Palais de Tokyo by the French Ministry of Culture. Christine Buci-Glucksmann is a renowned philosopher and art critic. Caroline Cros is curator at the Musee d'art moderne de la ville de Paris. Regis Durand is the Director of the National Center for Photography, Paris. Eleanor Hartney works in New York as an art critic. Laurent Le Bon is curator at the Centre Pompidou, Paris. Julian Zugazagoitia is a Spanish art curator and conservationist.