Photo

ORLAN X Abel Azcona, by Lekuona,2023

Abel Azcona, a promising newcomer to contemporary performance, invites ORLAN for a highly personal collaboration.

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The endangered elephant

and new robots made from recycled objects and materials, digital photo montage

This work was created by ORLAN in 2023 as part of Équinoxes 9. Équinoxes is the vibrant encounter between Camille Fournet and an artist: an exchange of worlds, a space of unrestrained artistic freedom, inspired by the House’s codes.

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Defiguration-Refiguration, Self-Hydridations Mayas: ORLAN hybridized with Mayan anthropomorphic figures, photo montage, 2022

Following a proposal by Leïla Voight, curator of the exhibition, Le Grand Musée du Monde Maya invited ORLAN to create works based on its collection of Mayan statuary. In this new series of 12 photographs, you can see Maya sculptures produced in durable materials, jade, stone… materials that can stand the test of time and therefore be seen from culture to culture, heritage to heritage.

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L’origine de la guerre, lenticular print showing Gustave Courbet’s “L’origine du monde”, photo montage

In 1989, ORLAN questioned what she considered to be the most monstrous work in the history of art: Courbet’s Origin of the World

In his painting of 1886, Courbet mutilates the woman, cutting off her legs, arms and head, stripping her of her identity by reducing her to the role of genitress. She becomes nothing more than a belly, more than a sex, probably as the commissioner intended.

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ORLAN hybridizes with the Empress Eugénie and continues in her wake, photo montage

Jean Luc Monterosso asked ORLAN to create a work for the “Chère Eugénie” exhibition organized by Guerlain to mark the anniversary of the bee bottle. It was created in 1853 for the wedding of Empress Eugénie and Napoleon III. ORLAN has decided to pay tribute to the Empress through a hybridization that launches the artist’s new series in which she will hybridize herself with the great women pioneers of feminist history.

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Endangered animals and new robots made of recycled objects and materials,  photo montage numérique 2022

In 2022, ORLAN created a series of works questioning the phenomenon of endangered animals. The artist features: jaguar, white tiger, polar bear, blue peacock, African forest elephant, sunda tiger, golden eagle, pink flamingo, cobra, lynx, seahorse, kangaroo, giant panda, water dragon, orangutan, penguin, dolphin, koala, cheetah… with robots. These animals are placed in their natural settings. Through this series, ORLAN proposes an eco-sensitive reflection and an awareness of the Anthropocene.

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The masks are coming, 2020

Self-hybridization between women, digital photo montage, 2019-2020

Les Self-hybridations entre femmes is a series of photographs in which ORLAN hybridizes with Pablo Picasso’s portraits of Dora Maar crying. The series consists of two acts: “ORLAN s’hybride aux portraits des femmes de Picasso” and “Les Femmes qui pleurent sont en colère”. 

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Étude Documentaire : Le Drapé-le Baroque : Zoom Baroque / Plis et Déplis, 2015

This series is part of the documentary study: Drapé-the Baroque. ORLAN has been interested in folds and  light and shadow ever since he first used the sheets of his trousseau in cross-dressing. She has created two series of draped studies and photographs of folds. ORLAN stages zooms of drapery in trousseau sheets, often using organic forms, curves and counter-curves, vulvas…


Self-hybridisations Masques de l’Opéra de Pékin, Facing Designs and augmented reality, photo montage, 2014

In 2014, ORLAN hybridized with masks from the Peking Opera, creating Chinese Self-hybridations. In this opera, women are outlawed and men play their roles. 

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Étude Documentaire : Le Drapé-le Baroque Plis mouvants, 2012

ORLAN’s draped works seem to come from the Victory of Samothrace, which ORLAN saw on the walls of her school from an early age, to Bernini’s Baroque folds. For ORLAN, she is an extraordinary example of strength and dynamism. In 2012, the artist created a series called Plis Mouvants, featuring computer-generated Baroque drapery in the continuity of her Étude Documentaire. This series of 36 works was produced as a lenticular print, creating movement and changing the folds as the viewer positions them. ORLAN uses organic references to the moving, twisting body and female sex.

Self-Hybridizations, Portrait of ORLAN and Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, photo montage, 2007

Some collectors who wish to buy works of self-hybridization  sometimes ask ORLAN to create hybridizations between the artist and themselves. ORLAN, for example, created a work with the face of her fashion designer friend Agatha Ruiz de la Prada in 2007.

Pomme-cul and little flowers, photo montage, 2007 

Defiguration-Refiguration, Native American self-hybridization, digital photo montage, 2005-2008

ORLAN began her third series exploring non-Western models in 2005, inspired by George Catlin’s paintings discovered during her residency in New York at the ISCP (International Studio and Curatorial Program) during a visit to the Smithsonian Museum. ORLAN was immediately drawn to the figure of George Catlin, who went to Native American tribes to paint tribal chiefs, staking his fortune on it.

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Defiguration-Refiguration, African self-hybridizations, digital photo montage, 2000-2003

A year after her first series of Pre-Columbian Self-hybridations, ORLAN continues her reflection on non-Western beauty standards with the creation of the African Self-hybridations series, in memory of all the exciting study trips to Africa that so marked her youth.

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Le Plan du Film, 2001

In 1989 and 1992, ORLAN received two grants from FIACRE and the Fonds d’Innovation Artistique et Culturel en Rhône-Alpes, to take up a residency in Chennai (then called Madras), India. For her second three-and-a-half-month trip, she was accompanied by Stephan Oriach, a director with whom ORLAN had collaborated in the past.

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Laughing Woman, 1998

Inspired by Lars Von Trier’s film “The Idiots” and its critique of conformist behavior, ORLAN presents herself in this highly humorous series. In some photos, she’s dressed as the perfect housewife, posing in front of the camera in curlers and cleaning gloves, alternately stroking phallic vegetables or serving tea, with the caption “Vous prendsz bien un peu de contenu… Monsieur Greenberg”.

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Defiguration-Refiguration, Pre-Columbian self-hybridizations, 1998

In 1998, ORLAN decided to travel to Mexico in the footsteps of Antonin Artaud. After her study trips, and in particular her encounter with the team at Mexico City’s Museum of Anthropology, ORLAN began her post-operation series Défiguration-Refiguration, Self-hybridation, using her new image to make new images.

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EXOGENOUS, 1997-2017

In 1997, ORLAN wanted to work with the forensic police on DNA sequencing, which had just been used to solve criminal cases.

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Self-Hybridation, Entre-deux,1994

In 1994, ORLAN presented the Entre-deux images created for the Omniprésence 2 installation in 1993 in the form of light boxes. These images represent ORLAN’s face, created using morphing software.

ORLAN has captured the “in-between”, i.e. the exact image of the environment conceived from her face hybridized with a portrait of one of her art-historical reference figures, without retouching.


Séduction contre Séduction – Photographic Triptych, 1993

On May 30, 1990, in a desecrated church called “All Saints” in Newcastle, England, ORLAN announced her decision to undertake Opérations-Chirurgicales-Performances in an inaugural performance-ritual, reading from her manifesto of Charnel Art, which she had written in 1989. 

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In 1993, ORLAN created a series of 10 triptychs based on images from Opérations-Chirurgicales-Performances. ORLAN made screenshots of the videos of the operations, which she mirrored and framed. In the middle, she inserted an unframed black-and-white photo with bandages after the operations. The idea was to draw a parallel between the idea of seduction and counter-seduction in photography. There was the photographic seduction of color, frame and the grandeur of the two mirrored screenshots, as opposed to the colorless, frameless photograph in the middle. 

La Réincarnation de Sainte-ORLAN ou images nouvelles-images / 9th Operation-Surgery-Performance, 1993

On May 30, 1990, in a desecrated church called “All Saints” in Newcastle, England, ORLAN announced her decision to undertake Opérations-Chirurgicales-Performances in an inaugural performance-ritual, reading from her manifesto of Charnel Art, which she had written in 1989. 

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The 9th Opération-Chirurgicale-performance took place on December 14 1993 in New York in collaboration with the Sandra Gering Gallery. 

During this operation, ORLAN was operated on by the feminist surgeon Dr. Marjorie Kramer and costumed by ORLAN

The photographers were Robert Puglisi and Vladimir Sichov for Pipa-Press.

La Réincarnation de Sainte ORLAN ou images nouvelles-images / 7th Surgical Operation-Performanceknown as Omniprésence, 1993

On May 30, 1990, in a desecrated church called “All Saints” in Newcastle, England, ORLAN announced her decision to undertake Opérations-Chirurgicales-Performances in an inaugural performance-ritual, reading from her manifesto of Charnel Art, which she had written in 1989. 

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The 7th surgical operation-performance, known as Omniprésence, took place on November 21 1993 in New York in collaboration with the Sandra Gering Gallery. 

During this operation, ORLAN was operated on by the feminist surgeon Dr. Marjorie Kramer and costumed by designer Lan Vu and her team. The photographers were Robert Puglisi and Vladimir Sichov for Sipa-Press (photos copyright-free). 

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A Matter of Mirrors, 1993

ORLAN played with notions of vanity and narcissism in the 1993 series Question de miroir. Taken before Omniprésence, the artist stages herself against a green background, as she would later do in the operating theater. In these images, we see ORLAN and/or her reflection in a hand mirror showing the result of a make-up session. Instead of using cosmetics to beautify herself, she covers her face with a flesh-colored substance resembling viscous modeling clay, alternately disfiguring and refiguring herself.

La Réincarnation de Sainte-ORLAN ou images nouvelles-images / 5th Opération-Chirurgicale-Performance called Opération Opéra, 1991

On May 30, 1990, in a desecrated church called “All Saints” in Newcastle, England, ORLAN announced her decision to undertake Opérations-Chirurgicales-Performances in an inaugural performance-ritual, reading from her manifesto of Charnel Art, which she had written in 1989. 

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The 5th operation-surgical-performance, known as Operation-Opera, took place on July 06, 1991 in Paris. 

During this operation, ORLAN was operated on by Dr. Chérif Kamel Zahar and costumed by designer Franck Sorbier. During the performance, the artist read “Le Tiers Instruit” by Michel Serres.

La Réincarnation de Sainte-ORLAN ou images nouvelles-images / 4th Operation-Surgery-Performancecalled Operation Success, 1991

On May 30, 1990, in a desecrated church called “All Saints” in Newcastle, England, ORLAN announced her decision to undertake Opérations-Chirurgicales-Performances in an inaugural performance-ritual, reading from her manifesto of Charnel Art, which she had written in 1989. 

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The 4th operation-surgical-performance, known as Operation Success or the ultimate masterpiece, took place on December 08 1990 in Paris. 

During this operation, ORLAN was operated on by Dr. Bernard Cornette de Saint-Cyr and costumed by designer Paco Rabanne.

During the performance, the artist read “La Robe” by Eugénie Lemoine-Luccioni and Lacan. The photographer was Alain Dohmé for Pipa-Press. ORLAN invites dancer Jimmy Blanche to strip, dance and sing during the operation.


La Réincarnation de Sainte-ORLAN ou images nouvelles-images, Second surgical operation known as La Licorne, 1990

On May 30, 1990, in a desecrated church called “All Saints” in Newcastle, England, ORLAN announced her decision to undertake Opérations-Chirurgicales-Performances in an inaugural performance-ritual, reading from her manifesto of Charnel Art, which she had written in 1989. 

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The 2nd surgical-performance operation, known as La licorne, took place on July 25, 1990 in Paris. 

During this operation, ORLAN was operated on by Dr. Chérif Kamel Zaha.

During the performance, the artist read a text by Julia Kristeva.

 

Peau d’âne, 1990

This is a photographic series in which ORLAN incorporates elements from the story of Peau d’âne into self-portraits.

Peau d’âne is a princess whose father has asked her to marry him because he has promised his mother, the queen, that he will only marry a woman more beautiful than herself, and Peau d’âne is the only such woman. His daughter escapes his father’s desire by dressing in the donkey’s skin. 

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Documentary study: Le Drapé-Le Baroque: Madonna in the garage, 1990

After working for over a decade on Judeo-Christian culture and the Baroque, ORLAN decided in 1990 to literally put the Madonnas in the garage, like old objects no longer in use. For this last series of farewells, ORLAN wanted to use very different fabrics for her costumes than those she usually used: low-end fabrics, polyester satins used for children’s holiday costumes. It provides a sense of humor and distance from the seriousness of previous studies. 

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The Origin of War, 1989

In 1989, ORLAN questioned what she considered to be the most monstrous work in the history of art: Courbet’s Origin of the World

In his painting of 1886, Courbet mutilates the woman, cutting off her legs, arms and head, stripping her of her identity by reducing her to the role of genitress. She becomes nothing more than a belly, more than a sex, probably as the commissioner intended.

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La Réincarnation de Sainte-ORLAN ou images nouvelles-images / 1ère Opération-chirurgicale-performancedite Bloc du shérif, 1986

On May 30, 1990, in a desecrated church called “All Saints” in Newcastle, England, ORLAN announced her decision to undertake Opérations-Chirurgicales-Performances in an inaugural performance-ritual, reading from her manifesto of Charnel Art, which she had written in 1989. 

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The 1st surgical-performance operation, known as Opération Shérif-Bloc, took place in Paris in 1986. 

During this operation, ORLAN was operated on by Dr. Chérif Kamel Zahar and costumed by herself. She wears her photographic canvas dress with a representation of her naked body. This first operation was used to create an installation of 9 black and white photographs.

Documentary study: Le Drapé-Le Baroque: Madonna in the Garden, 1986

La madone au jardin is a series created by ORLAN in 1986 as part of her Études Documentaires: le Drapé-le Baroque. 

ORLAN cross-dresses between a white virgin and a stereotypical bride in a long white skai dress, creating beautiful draperies in a garden, humorously alluding to photographs of the bride in white in beautiful landscapes. These photographs were taken in Sologne at Gladys Fabre’s estate, where ORLAN was married in black on July 14, 1993. Her own wedding becomes a grand performance in response to this Madonna in the Garden. 

Documentary study: Le Drapé-Le Baroque: Skaï and Sky and Video, 1983

Skaï and sky and Video is a series of photographs from 1983, part of the Étude Documentaire series: Le Drapé-Le Baroque, in which ORLAN portrays herself as a white and black virgin. ORLAN produced this series as part of a workshop organized at the Ivry-sur-scène photography school.

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 Documentary Study: The Draped-the Baroque: Sainte-ORLAN disguised using the sheets of the trousseau, with flowers and clouds, 1983
Study DocumentaryLe Drapé-le Baroque: Saint Orlan disguised using trousseau sheets, with flowers and clouds

In this 1981 series, ORLAN sees the photo as a hybridized sculpture between the sheets of the trousseau and another very starched fabric, very close to cardboard, enabling the sculpting of folds and drapes. This series is a hinge between the Madonnas costumed solely with trousseau sheets and the later ones costumed in skai. ORLAN stands with bouquets of flowers, which she arranges in the costume at times, holds as a weapon at others, and ends up on the floor. Ostensibly, ORLAN uses black plastic, an upside-down vase and a crown to present herself. The entire background is painted with clouds, giving the impression of a sacral apparition.