Orlan 2

She work is sensual and worldly, and she sees the body as a privileged material. Behavior around their transformation and regeneration on the surface of the body to do, in many cases try to challenge for clues, starting from the emotion of artists were enslaved, the inner exposed to public space with close illicit, also make the audience experience pleasure from peeping until it is presence. Her works are constantly making vigorous questions about the power of destruction and subversion, of traditional ideas, religion, social culture, the exploitation of male power, political games, and the ugliness of identity. The artist has become a champion of women’s human rights and social tolerance by changing her identity and sacrificing herself.
In 1970, the radical Orlan works is called the literature research, the head of medusa, will she bleeds vulva through a magnifying glass to present to the audience, half of the pubic hair was painted blue, with next to Freud’s words, the women’s pubic hair evil thoughts can be modified in a short time. Exposure, secular feedback, offerings, blow mood or sex toy these words mean filthy comments challenges the old adage, challenging the norms of the public, through the monitor, see work confronted with two kinds of a live audience, peep and watching.

“Come on, come closer, to my base: mother, bitch, and artist.” — Orlan in October 30, 1977, the grand palace FIAC contemporary art fair in Paris, Orlan in the form of the virgin like sculpture, will be topless device image converted into ATM coin-operated machines, wrote to kiss automatic vending machines, with five francs to sell her kiss to the audience. The five franc COINS from the audience fall from the breast, and the artist jumps and kisses the customer. Works cause strong public opinion at that time, men under the social status of women, in the business of the employer’s relationship with the provider, by rights, desire, and obscene services and selling this provocation of dirty words, artist indicating the audience to participate in her works in the form of touch. For the fair’s interior, Orlan defrauded and evaded world art institutions and galleries to sell herself, and her works brought together the extremes of two western women — the Madonna and the bitch.

Le baiser de l’artist




“I don’t want to look like… . It is not easy to be a narcissist. The problem is not to take care of your image, but to reestablish yourself through intentional ACTS of alienation. – Orlan since 1987, Orlan behavior art is completed her nine times between surgery plastic surgery, in the form of a series of video and broadcast through the media to broadcast in many countries in the world. Each time she was presented with a different face, dressed in gorgeous clothes, joking prologue, directing the staff, and the doctor cooperating with her performance. She plays music on the spot, reads poetry aloud, and moves into elaborate dance routines that allow viewers to see photos of her early performance art filled with exhibits. Stay awake during surgery Orlan for only a local anesthesia, people can see the surgeon remove grease from her thighs, then injected into her facial location specified, cut the knee, ankle, hip, waist and neck. She was there to control the atmosphere, explain the operation and answer the public question. After the bloody performance, the blood, body fluids and meat were displayed on the scene, while Orlan continued to perform with a trident, skull, and her manservant. In 1990, after her third operation, she was shown with a portrait of the eccentric bride with a wig to show the fact that women who love beauty receive attention for the pleasure that men define. On November 21, 1993, she cut open her face, uncovered the flesh, inserted the stuffing into the muscle tissue and stitched it up, and the forehead looked like a horn. Orlan after surgery with the remains of the work life, Christian think her works blasphemous, but she thinks that art must be causing interference between artist and audience, therefore her legacy will endure for a long period of time. In these plastic plans, she is not in order to achieve beautiful young or secular go plastic under the pain, but as a typical female to classical mythology in the men’s cognitive, will change features one by one, in the form of patchwork reproduce the facial features of the patriarchal world desire (typical women in the mythical symbols: Diana’s nose represents fertility, positive enterprising spirit of adventure; Europa’s mouth, foresight; The Mona Lisa’s forehead, hermaphrodite; Venus’ chin, rich and elegant; Psyche’s glasses, the need for love and the beauty of the spirit… ). Later, her body was not only the material of the work, but also the public opinion of the public. Orlan using plastic surgery as a medium to express her ideas and standards of beauty, emphasis on symbolic meaning of female beauty, aesthetic standards, trying to mix different class eager to achieve perfect external after the limit of beyond the senses, cause to the patriarchal world conquest, to discuss the feminism, they constantly changing new identity to please place in male social norms. The impact of the work is terrible surgery this process by acting exposed to the public space, but a woman after a painful transformation process, completely abandoned the outer ego, but whether can achieve personal ideal?

 La Re-incarnation de Sainte Orlan











Orlan 1

French artist Orlan rose to fame with a series of plastic surgery projects from 1990 to 1993. When botox, plastic surgery and other plastic surgery techniques are frequently used to cater to the mainstream aesthetic, she claims to use them to challenge aesthetic norms.

Mireille Suzanne Francette Porte began using the stage name Orlan in the early 1970s, when she was 15 years old. Since then, no one has remembered her real name. She began a series of plastic surgery in 1990 ~ 1993, gives himself as leonardo Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” raised eyebrow bone, such as francois boucher’s “Europa” small lips, as botticelli’s “Venus” classical chin. She let the doctor will be high zygomatic pad used usually in implant prosthesis materials on both sides of the forehead, looks like two new antlers, but some hostile critics called them “devil horns.” Since then, few have remembered what she looked like.

”I didn’t do these surgeries for my own sake, and I really liked my original looks and body — the body I worked as a lifelong job. I’m creating an image, creating a ‘new me,’ and then using my work.“

The cosmetic surgery project was just an art project between 1990 and 1993. She is the first artist ever to use plastic surgery on her body. After the surgery, she created a series about former Colombian, African and Indian people, called “self-fertilidation.

The women she loves are creative, powerful, and progressive, completely independent of appearances. She opposes “secular aesthetics”. She accepted that the women who told them aesthetic standards expressed regret and sadness. What I’m interested in is that men or women find and create their own uniqueness.


Precolumbian Self-Hybridization



he Liberty Flayed




Post Human

Jeffrey deitch, an American contemporary art theorist, claims that our time is the beginning of the end of the old man and the beginning of the human race. He believed that “the existing concept of” human “, that is, the “nature” of human appearance and human nature, is being replaced by a growing concept. The new idea is that people can reinvent themselves. The reason for this trend is the rapid development of human biotechnology and computer science, and new technology has caused a series of possibilities. It is possible for man to enter the era of artificial evolution beyond the traditional natural evolution. First, the exploration of mechanical and digital alternatives makes human beings no longer completely organic. Second, the future of artificial evolution is not only physical evolution, but also a concept of evolution, which makes the mixture of human and non-human being the norm. In addition, when humans began to have the ability to transcend the genetic code and to reconstruct their own flesh, reorganization and internal spirit remodeling will make the body appearance, which affect the behavior, life style, identity cognition, the heart of belonging, and so on, which changed the social structure and consensus.

Early humans based on the tremendous power of the nature, including their own do not understand and fear, for their strong like some animals, such as a large number of people in the ancient Chinese shanhaijing animal parts. In ancient Greek mythology, there were also large Numbers of people and animals, the “god” who could call for rain. It is as if children are often unable to perceive the integrity of their bodies through self-perception, according to jac-marie-emle-lacan. Lacking the relevant sense of time, space, and movement, he even sees his body as a bunch of broken objects and fears. Children who grow up to six to eighteen months are able to take advantage of the image reflected in the mirror and gradually acquire the overall image of their body’s basic structure. The “mirroring phase”, as lacan calls it, refers to a more profound way of providing a whole to the body through its mirror image, thus clearly defining the cognitive style of the self. At that time, human cognition belongs to the primary “mirror stage”.

However, today’s human and non-human efforts are not based on the inferiority and weakness of early human beings, not understanding and fear. It is the increasingly abundant means of human control and transformation of nature, and the new technology enables the human body to extend and strengthen its functions, thus resulting in a new self-concept, which becomes a kind of eugenics of the spiritual form.


Selfie breaks the “male gaze”

Forty years back, the selfie world is far from it. Women have used their bodies as a medium to release the power of expression and resistance in images. You must know Cindy Sherman (Cindy Sherman), and Cindy and stand together, there was a group of “love autodyne” women artists, such as reina hart, eisen (Renate Eisenegger), Lynn otto herschmann – PLC (Lynn Hershman interest) and Eva, pat (Ewa Partum), etc. Recently, the exhibition “Feminist Avant Garde art of the 1970s” is on display at the Photographer’s Gallery in London. The exhibition concentration presents a feminist artists in the 1970 s, with photography, collage, performance art, film and video, etc., trying to explore female artists in the pursuit of freedom and liberation, realize the equality of women status and the function of the civil rights movement.

In the 1970s, most women were seen as “passive MUSES”. They are subordinate to authority, and are not free to take control of their bodies and identities, or a desirable job. The exhibition “the feminist avant-garde art of the 1970s” was a stunning gathering of 48 female artists from the 1970s. They break the status quo and the male gaze, with art to the public for traditional definition about female identity, bold “art is the men’s game” the myth of the everlasting, thoroughly changed the role of women in the art world. The exhibition is divided into four sections with over 200 works in total. Below, we’ll delve into eight of the most brilliant and daring “troublemaker” artists.

1.Hannah Wilke

Wilke’s most famous work is the S.O.S. -starification Object Series (1974-1982). She made the audience chewing gum abstract, easily reminiscent of female genitalia sculpture, stick on your face and body, and let the photographer take a picture of the pink small group quickly. The work implies a man’s desire to gaze, and wilke wants to break that gaze.

2.Cindy Sherman

She made of cosmetics, artificial limbs, wig, elaborate design suit, in front of the cameras constantly changing shape and image, dressed up as art, advertising, all kinds of female images in movies and television. In one photo, she appears in the Hitchcock film, while in another she may be a happy suburban housewife. Cindy’s character is constantly switching back and forth, and she’s always immersed in the roles she plays. Although her work is somewhat self-portraits, “I’m not showing myself,” she repeated. Instead, she USES photographs to switch between reality and fiction, often more like the actress in her own life.


3.Renate Eisenegger

Artist lenart eisenhart’s signature creation is to paint his face with paint. First, cover with pure white, then add black geometric mesh. When she created it, she freed herself from her own identity and released herself in a radical new way.Appeared with its iconic white face and squatted on the ground to iron a fairly smooth building corridor floor. This image expresses the artist’s understanding of the universal consistency and monotony. In addition, the process of ironing is a business that many women are good at, so the behavior of leno is the dissent and the destroyed personality of women in the patriarchal society.


4.Lynn Hershman LeesonHe gave up his original identity and took a new name, Roberta Breitmore. Lynn in order to complete the identity transformation, especially wear blonde Marilyn Monroe style wigs, the whole face was painted with makeup look, also started a new treatment method of the world. She re-examined her driver’s license with a new identity, opened a bank account and applied for a credit card. Over the course of two years, Lynn used her new identity for art openings, dating men and going to the psychiatrist. “If you go back to the 1970s, the new identity should be more real than I was then.””You can sometimes get deeper truths through fiction,” says Lynn. Through her creation, Lynn explores the nature of women’s identity, and speaks for women through clothing and all the ACTS that she can misappropriate. In “Roberta Construction Chart#1” above, the artist shows the audience how she transformed her new role. This picture is between a scientific chart and a plastic surgery sketch, reflecting the artist’s effort to “be himself”.

Ewa Partum

The artist Eva patum was tired of the society’s discrimination against female artists and began to incorporate her nudity into her creations. Many commentators quickly labeled the practice egoistic, and said it was not a deliberate result. Eva strongly expressed her desire to turn herself and her body into art works, and to eliminate the oppression of the patriarchal society for the female body as a sexual object. She recognizes that women can work and live as a body that controls their bodies. Eva’s works often revolve around language, poetry and women’s bodies. Her first feminist work was Lipstick Pictures, which was created in 1971. Eva spelled out words like “art” and “love” and printed them on paper. The work above is called Change. Patm recruited a make-up artist, facing the audience and camera, and used makeup to make her half of her face look old. Through an artificial aging face, Eva emphasizes the so-called “beauty” standards established by male society and long-held beliefs that women will no longer be welcomed as they grow older. She created the image as a poster in Poland, with the words “my problem is a woman’s problem”.




Henry Tonks

“I have decided that I am not any use as a doctor. I don’t think the government very clever at using people’s services. Munitions, anything in fact, I am ready to take up,” wrote Henry Tonks in 1915. It would be pastel and paintbrush with which Tonks, 52 and an assistant professor at the Slade School of Fine Art when war broke out, would most memorably contribute to the war effort, first by drawing the patients of the pioneering plastic surgeon Harold Gillies and then as an official war artist, in which capacity he painted An Advance Dressing Station In France, 1918. 

Tonks had been a surgeon before he was recruited by Frederick Brown, founder of the New English Art Club, to teach at the Slade in 1892. His pupils included Stanley Spencer, Wyndham Lewis, Rex Whistler and Paul Nash. In 1916 he found himself working in the orderly room at Gillies’s new specialist centre for facial wounds. Gillies described “the great Henry Tonks” (20 years his senior) in his junior officer’s uniform as like “the Duke of Wellington reduced to subaltern’s rank”. 

Tonks’s anatomical knowledge and draughtsmanship were needed by Gillies; his drawings could capture the faces of patients in a way photographs couldn’t. Gillies called his surgery a “strange new art, and unlike the student today, who is weaned on small scar excisions and gradually graduated to a single harelip, we were suddenly asked to produce half a face”. It is not just technical breakthroughs, such as the first skin grafts, for which Gillies is remembered. Doctors before him had insisted that their job was to do no more than restore as much functionality as they could to a patient’s face; surgery, they said, was not to be cosmetic. For Gillies, a face was more than something to see, smell, eat and talk with; it was a physical portrayal of the self. Appearance, in short, was function. 

Gillies reconstructed the faces of 11,572 soldiers during the war. His and Tonks’s contribution was immense. Yet the public was uneasy with the work done first at Aldershot and later at the Queen’s Hospital in Sidcup, Kent. The respect, even glamour, associated with many front-line injuries eluded the facially disfigured. The Sunday Herald described Tonks’s subjects as “the loneliest of all Tommies” and the Manchester Evening Chronicle said facial injury was “the worst loss of all”. Tonks described his drawings as “dreadful” and not fit for public consumption. He insisted they were medical illustrations, not art. He was wrong. The drawings are done with the compassion of the human eye, not the mechanical detachment of the camera lens. The stoicism of his subjects is heartbreaking. Four of them currently hang in the National Portrait Gallery as part of The Great War in Portraits.  


Laura Mulvey


Mulvey distinguishes between the two modes of viewing: voyeurism and worship, and she refers to Freud’s terminology in response to male “castration anxiety”. Voyeur type view contains a controlled stare, Laura mulvey argue that this is related to abusive: “pleasure is confirmed with the crime – by punishing or understanding so as to confirm the guilty person exert control and yield”. In contrast, the worship of objects includes “the substitution of the object of worship, or the reappearance of the character itself into a divine object for confirmation rather than. In this way, the beauty of the body of the object is constructed and transformed into something satisfactory to itself. This kind of erotic intent is focused only on appearance. She said that watching the worship led to an overestimation of female images and a cult of female movie stars. Mulvie argues that moviegoers are swayed by this form of viewing.Peep mode
Laura mulvey offers three male models of prying, which are actually the three main narrative modes of Hollywood movies:
The first is the recognition model. The hero of the audience and the screen, as a screen replacement, as a result, he put two kinds of combination of power: the power of control of the situation and watch the power of initiative so as to provide the audience with a complete, idealistic, self representation for the audience.
The second is voyeurism. The essence is a man’s peep at a woman.
The third kind is fetishism.Gender differences in visual pleasure.
“Visual pleasure” is male?
Laura mulvey’s entire discussion of “visual pleasure” does imply a basic assumption: the viewer is a man. So her “visual pleasure” is also male.
Mainstream Hollywood films offer theoretical weapons. According to Freud, people have a sexual instinct to peep. The scene of the movie provides an effective space for peep: the screen is displayed as an object in the light, and the audience is watching in the dark as the subject of the viewing. In this way, the relationship between the audience and the screen is formed between “see” and “be seen”, and the object that is shown to the audience in mainstream films is usually female. The viewer is either watching with the hero’s eyes, occupying the heroine, or viewing the woman directly through close-up shots of women’s faces and legs. In the viewing, the audience (male) is released to gain the “visual pleasure” of peep.
The “visual pleasure of peeping” and the “visual pleasure of self-identity” are all centered on men.
Laura Moore peacekeeping later many feminist film critics have found that the patriarchal culture as a kind of social subconsciousness, constantly emerge in the mainstream movie narrative, they constantly explore the surface “the tip of the iceberg”. The “visual pleasure” of the male center, which deconstructs mainstream films, began to shake up the patriarchal cultural system. At this point, the question is clear, not as a presupposition of the male audience, but the fact that he has discovered the male center of mainstream filmmaking.There is no subjectivity of female “visual pleasure”.
Laura mulvey did not discuss the visual pleasure of female audiences in her “visual pleasure and narrative film”.
Perhaps in Laura, Laura mulvey there such inferences is without foundation, because of the women in the patriarchal culture, first of all, there is no subjectivity, so she can’t get the unique and independent of men in the true sense of “pleasure” vision. The mainstream films give women only a re-education to strengthen the patriarchal system, which further strengthens the dominant position of the male, and the female is deeper in the unsubjectivity.
Therefore, the gender difference of “visual pleasure” is actually structural, which is the difference between subject and object. The establishment of female subjective “visual pleasure” is still a long and difficult journey, and the deconstruction of the “visual pleasure” of the male center is just the beginning.







Remodelling Photo History

“We would find it strange if health workers did not try to criticise their own industry, to aim for better control over their working conditions, to have accountability to their users. Yet within the various disparate workplaces of photography this is not seen as a priority. Remodelling Photohistory is an exploration of our own recent attempts to work through some aspects of this problem by ‘making strange’, using as our starting point the everyday, normalised, institutional practices and codes of ‘the trade’, re-ordered, re-modelled, re-invented, so that their common sense, unquestioned notions become disrupted.” Jo Spence & Terry Dennett

Cancer Shock

“One morning, whilst reading, I was confronted by the awesome reality of a young white-coated doctor, with student retinue, standing by my bedside. As he referred to his notes, without introduction, he bent over me and began to ink a cross onto the area of flesh above my left breast. As he did a whole chaotic series of images flashed through my head. Rather like drowning. I heard this doctor, whom I had never met before, this potential mugger, tell me that my left breast would have to be removed. Equally I heard myself answer, ‘No’. Incredulously; rebelliously; suddenly; angrily; attackingly; pathetically; alone; in total ignorance.” Jo Spence


The Picture of Health?

“Whatever processes we deploy as family historians, in telling stories about the past, in making theoretical accounts of our lives, or in reliving our past memories and traumas in the ‘talking cures’ of psychotherapy, the use of photography has been virtually ignored as part of our history making process.” Jo Spence

Narratives of Disease

“How do we begin to speak about what it is like to live with cancer? How do we find a language to express ourselves? What are we able to say if we turn to the medical language of tumours, drugs, and surgical procedures: a language which is crucial to medical professionals in helping to diagnose and treat cancer but which can only speak of people as mechanical objects? Can we make use of the non medical language of bodies which is obsessed with the idealism of youth and beauty?” Jo Spence

Final Project

“What upset Jo most about death and non-being was that she would no longer be able to see what was going on in society. She knew that no one could communicate with her, and she couldn’t communicate with anyone else. She would be out of the loop. People, communication and sharing were central to her life.” Terry Dennett