ORLAN // Skin and Stone

11 Brown Street, East Perth WA 6004
Start Date
13 September, 2007
End Date
4 November, 2007

Born in 1947 in Saint Étienne in France, since 1964 ORLAN has been active in many areas of the arts – painting, sculpting, poetry, dance, theatre, photography, street performance and social activism.  She has travelled widely and in 1974 started using herself as the artwork, moving into video performance including video of an operation on herself. In 1983 she started working with multimedia installation and began teaching in the following year.  1986 saw a move into video and laser projections and in 1990 she was the first artist to use surgery for artistic ends with her surgery performances.

With many work collaborations, group exhibitions and travel behind her, in 1993 she had silicone implants placed in her forehead, signalling the end of the surgery series.

In 1998 ORLAN launched her worldwide exploration of differing standards of beauty in various civilizations down through history. She began with Pre-Columbian cultures following several stays in Mexico, inspired by Mayan and Olmec attraction for deformed skulls, cross-eyed vision and false noses, as well as by sculptures of the god Xipe Totec (depicted as a priest who dons the flayed skin of a sacrificial victim). Taking such imagery and crossing it with images of herself, with the assistance of a digital technician, ORLAN created the series of digital photos titled Pre-Columbian Refiguration, Self-Hybridization for which she was awarded two international prizes.

A selection of this series will be shown in the exhibition, ORLAN Skin and Stone, at Holmes à Court Gallery from 14 September – 28 October as part of BEAP 2007.  All works will be for sale.

ORLAN is Professor at the École Nationale des Beaux Arts at Cergy just outside Paris and is a Chevalier de l’Ordre des arts et des lettres. She is celebrated all over the world as a significant artist and identity with retrospective exhibitions, academic appointments and residencies, and many publications. Her works are part of significant public and private collections.

The artist is now in residence at Symbiotica at the University of Western Australia until 19 September. She is available for interview.

For further information or images available for reproduction please contact Sharon Tassicker, Director, Holmes à Court Gallery (08) 9218 4539.

image details:             Refiguration Self-Hybridization, Precolumbian series, n°1, 1998, Cibachrome, 100 x 150 cm

Technical assistance digital images : Pierre Zovilé.

Holmes à Court Gallery 1/11 Brown Street. East Perth WA 6004 Phone (08) 9218 4540 www.holmesacourtgallery.com.au Open Wed– Sun12-5pm

Image : Refiguration Self-Hybridization, Precolumbian series, n°1, 1998, Cibachrome, 100 x 150 cm, Technical assistance digital images : Pierre Zovilé.

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