Theater of Cruelty to Myself
“I am the first,” Orlan claims, “to divert plastic surgery from its aim of improvement and rejuvenation.”
These are called “operation-performances.”
She took a digitized version of the “idealized feminine” face (her source material: Leonardo’s Mona Lisa, Botticelli’s Venus, Francois Pascal Simon Gerard’s Psyche, Gustav Moreau’s Europa) and then surgically altered her own face to create this image.
Nine plastic surgeries. She considers her works “sacrificial.” These performances were painful and potentially fatal.
A new essay from Unzipping of Images…Orlan’s Operative: Provocation, Performance, Personhood