Thursday, June 20, 2013

Orlan Quotes

1. I almost died because I had an ectopic pregnancy. They had to operate to save my life and remove what they told me was a non-viable foetus.

2. This is my body, my software. (Madonna) said it was like caviar. She probably eats a lot of it, and knows what she's talking about.

3. Being a narcissist isn't easy when the question is not of loving your own image, but of recreating the self through deliberate acts of alienation.

4. I like body art, but it's not my thing. I am all for pleasure and sensuality, not for endurance and suffering.

5. I have given my body to art, for after my death it will not be given to science, but rather to a museum to be mummified: it will be the main part of a video installation. When the operations are finished, I will employ an advertising agency to find me a first and second name and an artist name, then I will get a lawyer to appeal to the Public Prosecutor to accept my new identities with my new face. This is a performance inscribed within the social fabric, a performance which goes as far as the law…as far as a complete change of identity. In any case, if it proves to be impossible the attempt and the lawyer's appeal will be a part of the work.

6. Religion is always against women, and Christian art wants us to not touch bodies, to choose between good and evil. But all my work is about good and evil. So for me God isn't a solution for my life, or for my work.

7. Do not misunderstand me too quickly.

8. I wasn't in pain and what was happening to my body was of profound interest to me. Pain is an anachronism. I have great confidence in morphine.

9. All my life I came second, as men were always coming first. Not to talk about feminism would mean that I didn't respect myself.

10. My work is a fight against nature and the idea of God...the inexorability of life, DNA-based representation. And that's why I went into cosmetic surgery; not looking to enhance or rejuvenate, but to create a total change of image and identity. I claim that I gave my body to art. The idea is to raise the issue of the body, its role in society and in future generations, via genetic engineering, to mentally prepare ourselves for this problem.

11. At the sight of the vulva, even the devil runs away.

12. For many years, I had appropriated baroque imagery in my work, especially in relation to Catholic art. So when I lay on the operating table, the parallels between the operating theatre and the Catholic mass were not wasted on me.

13. Surgery is something I haven't done for a long time. I have done sculptures, photographic works, installations, performances, biotechnology, but I always try to change materials and style to find the best solution.

14. For me, art which is interesting is related to and belongs to resistance. It must upset our assumptions, overwhelm our thoughts, be outside norms and outside of the law. It should be against bourgeois art; it is not there to comfort, nor to give us what we already know. It must take risks, at the risk of not being accepted, at least initially. It should be deviant and involve a project for society. And even if this declaration seems very romantic, I say: art can, art must, change the world, for that is its only justification.

15. Everyone is scared of genetic DIY. It's crucial for artists to work with such technologies. It is important that we work between science and art.

16. During surgery I read texts as long as possible, even while my face is being operated on. In the most recent operations this produced an image of a cadaver under autopsy which keeps on speaking, as if its words were detached from its body…During all my operation-performances I read the following extract from her book "La Robe" (The Dress) which says this: "The skin is life one only has one's skin…there is an error in human relations because one is never what one has…I have an angel's skin, but I am a jackal… a black skin but I am white, a woman's skin but I am a man; I never have the skin of what I am. There is no exception to the rule because I am never what I have…" When I read this text I thought about how, in our era, we are beginning to have the means of reducing this distance, specifically by surgery…It is now possible therefore to bring the internal image closer to the external image.

17. No, my goal was to be different, strong; to sculpt my own body to reinvent the self. It's all about being different and creating a clash with society because of that. I tried to use surgery not to better myself or become a younger version of myself, but to work on the concept of image and surgery the other way around. I was the first artist to do it.

18. Plastic surgery is one of the areas in which man's power can be most powerfully asserted on women's bodies. I was not able to obtain (collaboration) from male surgeons what I was able to achieve with a female surgeon, for I believe (the male surgeons) wanted to keep me "cute".

19. Everything takes a different flavour when a woman does it.

20. I am not sure I can change such a thing, but I can produce images that are different from those we find in comics, video games, magazines and TV shows. There are other ways to think about one's body and one's beauty. If you were to describe me without anyone being able to see me, they would think I am a monster, that I am not f.... But if they see me, that could perhaps change.

21. I say that I am involved in a woman-to-woman transsexual act, making allusion to transsexuals as, for example, a man who feels like a woman wants other people to see him as a woman. We could summarize this by saying that it is matter of communication.

22. The Ninth surgery will probably take place in Japan, to give me a very large nose, the biggest nose technically possible in relation to my anatomy and deontologically acceptable to a surgeon from that country. This operation will not take place for another three or four years (quote from 1996), perhaps even more, for it will take time to find the necessary technical and financial infra-structures to develop the overall project. But above all, the greatest danger I am taking is that this extremely radical and shocking performance will obscure the plastic art work which results from it. My current aim is also to produce and exhibit works from earlier operations, making clear the process whereby this performance is created and debating the questions which it raises with the widest possible public.

What do you think of Orlan quotes?

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