Saint-Étienne

Saint-Étienne

Orlan

Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain
rue fernand léger
May 26–August 26, 2007

Curated by Lóránd Hegyi and Eugenio Viola

Going where no one dared—or wanted—to go before, Orlan has long occupied the yawning gap between extreme body art and the postmodern probing of the body as a commodified object. Her methodology has included plastic surgery, and it has been difficult at times to distinguish her art from her life, critique from camp. Orlan’s calculated and much publicized challenge to the fetishization of beauty and youth is becoming wildly more relevant as we zoom past mere physical manipulations of the body to confront advances in genetic engineering, virtual reality, and computer subjectivity. This retrospective, which coincides with the artist’s sixtieth birthday, features more than a hundred works from the 1960s on, including paintings, photographs, installations, and videos of performances. The accompanying catalogue includes essays by Donald Kuspit and Peggy Phelan, among others.