April 20, 2008 - Tallinn Art Hall - ORLAN
April 20, 2008

ORLAN

ORLAN: Post-Identity Strategies
Curated by Eugenio Viola, Reet Varblane
April, 16 – May, 18, 2008

Vabaduse Square 6
10146 Tallinn

www.kunstihoone.ee

The exhibition is produced in collaboration with Michel Rein Gallery in Paris.

Post-Identity Strategies is an exhibition devoted to ORLAN’s works, a multi-medium and inter-disciplinary artist, who, as a protagonist, has journeyed through the most important art movements from the mid-sixties to now as an extraordinary protagonist.

Her work moves beyond the many “posts” and “isms” of art history, and her unique style has always been that of a complex, irreverent, ironic, blasphemous, iconoclastic artist, for whom the provocation of flesh, the reverse of the body, art and life, the constant oscillation between the real and the virtual, the play of identity, reach the heights of poetry.

From the artist’s reinterpretation of Judeo-Christian iconography, based on a depth study of the Baroque metaphor in general, and of Bernini’s Saint Theresa in particular, ORLAN creates an “hagiographic” declension of the Body Art, investigated through a kind of alter-ego: Saint ORLAN, who will be symptomatic of her artistic journey.

In the surgical-operation-performances of early nineties, her identity research is “reincarnated” to present the climax of a long cognitive process. ORLAN transformed the operating room into an artist’s studio where an artwork was produced, thus inaugurating the mutating paradigm of contemporary art – a progressive return to “bodily” themes – in a direct relationship with new technologies and biotechnologies, a new trend where the French artist once again appears at the front. The appropriation of plastic surgery as a creative art form, both as subject and object of the performance in which the “oeuvre-action” integrates the artist’s body, marks the passage of Body Art into Carnal Art in ORLAN’s work.

In the Self-Hybridization series (Pre-Colombian, African and the more recent ones on Native Americans), ORLAN continues and extends her journey through infinity of possible physical identities. By using various canons of beauty and aesthetics from different times and places, the artist creates “living” totemic figures, almost tangible in their virtuality, fascinating in their disturbing appearance and seductive in their
artificial otherness.

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