Born in 1947, in Saint Etienne, France.
Lives and works in Paris, France
ORLAN was made Chevalier de l'ordre national du Mérite and received the medal from Fréderic Mitterrand, then Minister of Culture.
ORLAN was made Chevalier de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture. The medal was delivered by Jean-Jacques Aillagon, then Minister of Culture.
Awards, Grants and Prizes
ORLAN received the International Award for Female Excellence from the Ministry of International Affairs in Genoa, Italy.
ORLAN received the E-REPUTATION Great Prize by Alexia Guggemos at Christie's in Paris, France.
She won the top prize at The Moscow Festival of Photography, Russia.
She was awarded the Arcimboldo Prize for digital photography from Hewlett Packard, France.
She won the Griffel-Kunst Prize in Hamburg, Germany
She received the Prix Mona Lisa and Prix Prix Lavoisier, France.
She received two grants from FIACRE for her research and residency in Chennai, Madras, India.
She received two grants from FIACRE for her research and residency in Chennai, Madras, India.
she received the Top Prize from the Bourse du Travail in Saint-Étienne, France.
ORLAN was invited by the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, CA (U.S.A) to participate on their Scholar Research and Residence Program.
ORLAN was also a guest at SymbioticA, the art an science collaborative research laboratory of the University of Western Australia in Perth, Australia.
Oral was invited by the Getty Institute in Los Angeles, Etats-Unis, to participate in their Scholar Research and Residence Program
ORLAN was a guest at the ISCP (International Studio and Curatorial Program) in New York, Etats-Unis, sponsored by the AFAA (Association Française d'Action Artistique).
ORLAN EN CAPITALES, curated by : Jérôme Neutres, Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France.
ORLAN Rétrospective, curated by Alessandra Mammi, Museum of Contemporary Art, MACRO, Roma, Italy.
Autorretratos Hibridos, curated by Caroline Coll, Alliance Française de Buenos Aires, Argentine.
ORLAN-Techno-Body Retrospective 1966-2016, curated by Soukyoun Lee, Sungkok Art Museum, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
ORLAN TODAY, curated by Sylvie Froux , FRAC Normandie, Caen, France.
ORLAN / Hybridaciones y Refiguraciones, curated by : Ricardo Arcos-Palma, Museo de Arte Moderno, Bogota, Colombia.
MesuRages (1968-2012) Action: ORLAN-body, curated by Bart de Baere, Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, M HKA, Antwerp, Belgium.
ORLAN AAKA ORLAN, curated by Eugenio Viola, Prometeo Gallery, Milan, Italy.
ORLAN: Post Identity Strategies, curated by Eugenio Viola,Tallin Art Hall, Tallin, Estonie.
Le Récit, rétrospective, curated by Lorand Hegyi and Eugenio Viola, Musée d'art moderne de Saint-Etienne, Saint-Etienne, France.
ORLAN, curated by Alain Julien-Laferrière, Centre de création contemporaine, Tours, France.
ORLAN 1964-2004..., curated by Regis Durand, Centre National de la Photographie, Paris, France.
Éléments favoris, curated by Jean François Taddei, FRAC Pays de la Loire, Nantes, France.
Rétrospective 1964-2001, curated by Olga Guinot, Salamanqua, Centro de Fotografía, Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain.
Emblematic of the interest that contemporary artists have taken in performance art and in the possibilities of using one’s body as a creative medium, ORLAN stands out thanks to her use of multiple practices and medias. Questioning representations of art, genres, sexuality and the self, this international artist has constantly brought her appearance and her identity into play, reinventing herself in a continuous work of “self-sculpture”.
Trained at the Conservatory of Dramatic Arts and at the School of Fine Arts of Saint-Étienne (ESADSE), she shows, from the age of 17, performance pieces in which she quotes classical masterpieces by replaying them in Tableaux Vivants (1967-1975). In Étude documentaire : le drapé, le baroque (1974-1984), an ensemble mixing performance, photography and sculpture and revisiting Judeo-Christian iconography and baroque aesthetic, her bridal trousseau’s linen, diverted from their matrimonial vocation, become the medium for provocative pieces.
In 1977 she brings Le Baiser de l’artiste (The Artist’s Kiss, Frac des Pays de la Loire) to the FIAC (International Fair of Contemporary Art) in Paris. Sitting behind a photography of her own naked torso, she sells French kisses to the fair’s visitors or invites them to light a votive candle to her image dressed as a Madonna. The installation superposed the sacred woman – Sainte-ORLAN – and the objectified woman – ORLAN-corps – and created a scandal that costed the artist her teaching position. Since this first period, her creation has moved forward by revisiting her older pieces; most of her performances and derived pieces enter long-term series.
Other occasional works keep their individual status such as her parody of Courbet’s L’Origine du monde turned L’Origine de la guerre (1989) and showing a close-up of the lower abdomen of a man in erection. ORLAN also played a pioneering role in the artistic use of telematics, via the Minitel (a network developed prior to the Internet in France). In the 1990s, assisted by medical doctors, she began a series of “surgical-operation-performances”. She transforms the operating room into an atelier, where her body is surgically operated and modified under her direction. Some of these surgical interventions were filmed and transmitted live through satellite to high-art spaces (Omniprésence, 1993). If the whole process, from project to result, constitutes a work of art in itself, interventions also bring about videos, photographs, drawings and other pieces recycling body matter derived from the surgeries. The artist associates these performances to readings of essays by philosophers like Michel Serres, and writes her own "Carnal Art Manifesto" (1992) that explains the issues at stake in her work. As a critical diversion of cosmetic surgery, a demonstration of the new plasticity of the flesh that allows the contemporary subject to claim authorship of her/his own body, a questioning of beauty codes and their violence, her project distinguishes itself from body art by rejecting pain and making her body “a space of public debate”. In Reconfigurations-Self-Hybridations (starting from 1998), she uses digital image processing technologies to blend her face and pieces representing physical and artistic canons from pre-Columbian art, African sculpture, paintings of North-american natives by George Catlin (1796-1872) and Chinese art. These hybrid portraits blur distinctions in individuality, sexuality, temporality, ethnicity, religion or artistry in order to create as many mutant figures. In parallel, ORLAN pursues her exploration of the impact of biotechnology.
In 2007, her installation Harlequin’s Coat mixed video-projections, Petri dishes and a bioreactor allowing the in vitro culture of her own cells combined with those of other human and animal stems. Patchwork, collaboration and reprise equally govern the creation of clothing-artworks, when she collaborates with fashion designers to exhibit garments recycled from her own closet. This logic of recombination continues when she invests Maubuisson Abbey with her exhibition Unions mixtes, mariages libres et noces barbares (2009). The thoughtful and complex path of this norm-challenging artist, which mixes intensely art, life and sociopolitical questions, has always taken place in close dialog with her audience, gleefully mocking consensus.
Translated from French by Emily Freeman.
From the Dictionnaire universel des créatrices
© 2013 Des femmes – Antoinette Fouque
© Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions
Solo shows at Ceysson Gallery
ORLAN BEFORE ORLAN, Paris
October 18 - December 08, 2018
ORLAN, New York
September 12 - November 02, 2019Group shows at Ceysson Gallery
Le grand détournement , Paris
June 27 - August 03, 2019
Tribute to Vicky Rémy, Offsite
July 13 - July 14, 2019
Spring Paris, Paris
May 18 - July 25, 2020
Spring Saint-Étienne, Saint-Étienne
June 11 - July 25, 2020
December 18, 2019 - February 01, 2020Solo Show (selection)
ORLAN in The Sammlung Verbund Collection
, Vertical Gallery, Vienna, Austria
ORLANoïde 2.0, Science Gallery
, curated by Cian Walsh, Dublin, Ireland
, Institute Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
, Galerie Ceysson & Bénétière, New York, United States
Pétition contre la mort
, curated by Richard Martel, Le Lieu, Quebec, Canada
Femme avec tête(s)
, curated by Yann Toma Paris, Sorbonne Art Gallery, Paris, France
Projection Apparition et Gloide de Sainte ORLAN
, L’hybride Lille, Lille, France
ORLAN BEFORE ORLAN
, Ceysson & Bénétière, Paris, France
Ex Teresa Arte Actual
, Andrea Valencia, Mexico City, Mexico
, Daniela Hahn, Vienna, Austria
VideORLAN - Technobody
, curated by Alessandra Mammì, Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, Roma, Italy
ORLAN EN CAPITALES
, curated by Jérôme Neutres, Maison Européenne de la photographie, Paris, France
, curating by Sylvia Froux, FRAC Basse-Normandie, Caen, France
, curating by Soukyoun Lee, Sungkok Art Museum, Seoul, South Korea
Temps variable et baiser de méduses
, curating by Carme Sais, Bòlit Centre d'Art Contemporani, Girona, Spain
, curating by Sabrina Zannier, Castello di Susans, Majano, Italy
Octobre rose, Projection sur la Tour Horizon de Jean Nouvel
, curating by Gilles Drouault, Paris, France
ORLAN, Strip-tease des cellules jusqu'à l'os
, curating by Emmanuel Cuisinier, Centre des arts, Enghien-les-bains, France
Temps variable et baiser de méduses
, curating by Jackie-Ruth Meyer, Centre d'art LE LAIT, Albi, France
Pekin Opera facing design and augmented reality
, gallery Michel Rein, Paris, France
Self-hybridations artworks with Mask of the Pekin's Opera
, curating by Jooyoung Sung, gallery Sejul, Seoul, South Korea
L'origine de la guerre
, curating by Syvie Zavatta, FRAC de Franche-comté, Besançon, France
Hysteria (Salon Hystérique)
, curating by Gabriella Daris, Blacks, London, United Kingdom
ORLAN: The icon of the French contemporary art, Guest artist of "Riga, European City of Culture", curating by Inese Baranovska
, Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, Riga, Latvia
Men sana in corpore...
, curating by Pierre-Olivier Rollin, B.P.S.22, Hôpital Notre-Dame à la Rose, Lessines, Belgium
Hybridization and Refiguration
, curating by Ricardo Arcos-Palma, Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogota, Bogota, Colombia
Carnal Art and Obsolet Body
, curating by Ricardo Arcos-Palma, Museo de Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia
Pictures and objects from the MesuRages
, curating by Bart de Baere, M HKA - Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, Antwerpen, Belgium
The Factory Direct
, curating by Eric Shiner, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, United States
Un boeuf sur la langue
, curating by Blandine Chavanne, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, Nantes, France
Bodies, Technology, Fashion
, curating by Daniel J. Veneciano, Lincoln, United States
ORLAN Remix, Est-ce que vous êtes Belges ? Ou les draps-peaux hybrids,
curating by Johan Muyle, Project Room | La Cambre | Ecole Supérieure des Arts Visuels, Brussels, Belgium
Unions Mixtes, Mariages Libres et Noces Barbares
, curating by Caroline Coll Seror, Abbaye de Maubuisson, France
, curating by Annick Notter, Musée du Nouveau Monde de La Rochelle, La Rochelle, France
Self hybridation, American-Indians
, gallery Michel Rein, France
, Musée d'art Moderne de Saint-Etienne, France
Eléments favoris n°4
, Artothèque de la Réunion, La Réunion, France
(in collaboration with Philippe Chiambaretta), Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France
Méthodes de l'artiste, 1964-2004
, retrospective, Centre National de la Photographie, Paris, France
, Centre de Création Contemporaine, Tours, France
, gallery Michel Rein, Paris, France
, retrospective, FRAC des Pays-de-la-Loire, Carquefou, Nantes, France
, ARTIUM Centro-Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
Ceci est mon corps...ceci est mon logiciel
, Bregenzer Kunstverein, Magazin 4, Austria
Group Show (selection)
Revolutions, Records & Rebels (1966-1970)
,La Grande Halle de la Villette, Paris, France
Feminist avant-garde of the 1970s
, Works from the Sammlung Verbund Collection, International Center of Photography, New York, US
, Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, curator : Philippe Dagen, Paris, France
, London Photo, Londres, UK
Self-portrait of the artist as a clown
, commissaire d'exposition : Joanna de Vos, Rony Van de Velde Gallery, Knokke, Belgium
Spatiu Intact Project
, Centrul de interes, Cluj, Roumania
, commissaire d'exposition: Bianca Cerrina Feroni, Manifesta 13, Maison RC, Marseille, France
Frida Kahlo, Afterlife
, The Drents Museum, Assen, Netherlands
Exposition aux frontiers de l’humain
,Musée de l’homme, Paris, France
, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
, Manifesta 13, Maison RC, Marseille, France
Cyland Media Art Lab & The Kolodzei Art Foundation, National Art Club, 15 Gramerci Park South, New York, USA
Tout le monde m'adore
, Crypte d'Orsay, Orsay, France
This is not a selfie
, Museum of Fine Arts, St Petersburg, USA
, Broken Hill Regional Gallery, Broken Hill, Australia
Show Me Your Wound
, curated by Johanna Schwanberg & Klaus Speidel, Dom Museum, Vienna, Austria
, curated by Paul di Felice & Pierre Stiwer, Cercle-Cité, Luxembourg
, curated by Axel Vervoordt, Diane Venet Collection, Antwerp, Belgium
Middle Gate II – L'histoire de Dimpna
, Gasthuismuseum, Geel, Belgium
, Science Gallery Melbourne, Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia
In The Cut - The Male Body in Feminist Art
, Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken, Saarbrücken, Germany
Artistes & Robots
, Grand Palais, Paris, France
L'art vous va si bien! Bijoux d'artistes de Picasso à Jeff Koons
, Musée des arts décoratifs, Paris, France
La photographie française existe... Je l'ai rencontré
, Maison européenne de la photographie, Paris, France
, Palacio de bellas artes, Mexico
Ouverture pour Inventaire
, FRAC des pays de la Loire, Carquefou, France
Roll Up ! Roll Up ! An anatomical wax cabinet meets art
,Deutsches Hygiene-museum, Dresden, Germany
MASCULIN / MASCULIN
, Musée d'Orsay, curating by Guy Cogeval, Tobias G. Natter, Dr. Ulrich Pohlmann, Paris, France
Skin : Totem and Tatoo
, curating by Osvaldo Romberg, Slought Foundation, Philadelphia, Unites States
Les esthétiques d'un monde désenchanté
, CAC Meymac, Meymac, France
, curating by Adrien Sina, Consortium, Dijon, France
Metropolitain pavillion 3D Printshow
, curating by Lucy Cottrell, New-York city, United States
Metamorphoses of the virtual
, curating by David Rosenberg, K11 exhibition, Shanghaï, China
, curating by Juliette Laffon, Friche de la Belle de Mai, Marseille, France
, curating by Michel Rein, gallery Michel Rein, Paris, France
Re. act. feminism #2. a performing archive
, curating by Bettina Knaup & Beatrice Ellen Stammer, Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona, Spain
Elles, women artists from the Pompidou Center
, curating by Cécile Debray et Emma Lavigne, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
CODE NOIR. 30 ans de Shopping
, curating by Lidewij Edelkoort et Trend Union, F.R.A.C Haute-Normandie, Rouen, France
International Woman Day
, curating by Marina Loshak, Olesya Turkina et Natalia Kamenetskaya, Moscow Museum and Exhibition Centre the Manege, Moscow, Russia
La Photographie en France ; 1950 - 2000
, curating by Alain Sayag et Gilles Mora, La Maison Européenne de la photographie, Paris, France
The Metamorphoses of the Virtual - 100 years of Art and Freedom
, producer Pia MyrvoLD, Officina Delle Zattere, Biennal of Venice, Venice, Italy
The Artist as Jeweler
, curating by Diane Venet, Bass Museum of Art, Miami, United States
Andy Warhol Museum, Factory Direct: Pittsburgh exhibition, United States
Art Public Liège
, curating by Joahn Muyle, Musée de Bogota and Musée de Medellin, Colombia
Biennal 2012, Shanghai, China
Speaking Artist, promenade project
, curating by Lorand Hegyi, Busan Museum of Modern Art, South Korea
Mois de la photographie, la Photographie en France de 1950 2000
, curating by Gilles Mora et Alain Sayag, La Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France
FIAC, gallery Michel Rein, Paris, France
« XXth Century Masters: The Human Figure »
, curating by Sylvie Ramond, Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
Elles : Women Artists from the Pompidou Center
, Seattle Art Museum, Paris, Seattle, United States
Re. act. feminism # 2. A performing archive
, curating by Bettina Knaup et Beatrice Ellen Stammer, Museet for Samtidskunst, Roskilde, Danemark
, curating by Lauren Rosati, Exit Art , New York, United States
Liquids in Contemporary Art
, curating by Marie Shek, Litvac Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israël
L'amour du risque; The tast for risk
curating by Leila Topic, assisted by Emannuel Latreille & Pascal Neveux, Museum of Modern Art of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
Re. act. feminism # 2. a performing archive
, curating by Knaup & Beatrice Ellen Stammer, Wyspa Art Institute, Gdansk, Poland
Man as Object : Reversing the Gaze
, curating by Tanya Augsburg, Priscilla Otani, Karen Gutfreund & Brenda Oelbaum, Kinsey Institute, Indiana, United States
curating by Carmelo Strano, ACAOS Gallery et Villa Fortuna, Aci Trezza, Italy
Isole mai trovate, Island never found, exhibition tour
, curating by Lorand Hegyi, Busan Museum of Art, South Korea
Le temps de l'action / acte 1
, Villa Arson, Nice, France
From the cartography of power into the itineraries of knowledge
, curating by Catarina Pires, Paulo Amarea, Sebastio Formoshino, Theresa Baumann, University of Coimbra, Portugal
Man as object - reversing the gaz
, curating by Brenda Oelbaum, SOMARTS, San Francisco, United States
Tour de France / Florida Contemporary Artists from France in Florida's Private Collections, Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum, Art Basel Miami, Miami, United States
Colères et pudeurs de femme
, curating Diane Hennebert,Villa Empain, Fondation Boghossian, Brussels, Belgium
Iles jamais trouvées
, curating by Adriano Berengo, Musée de Saint Etienne Métropole, Saint-Etienne, France
, curating by Anne Rivière, Musée des années trente, Boulogne-Billancourt, France
, curating by Kohle Yohannan, The Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles, United Sates
Stiftung Deutsches Hygiene-Museum, What Is Beautiful ?
, Dresden, Germany
Palazzo Ducale, Isole Mai Trovate - Island Never Found, Genova, Italy
P.S.1, 100 Years - Version #2, New-York, United Sates
, Moscow, Russia
Unimediamodern, Bad Girls, Genova, Italy
EN MAI FAIT CE QU'IL TE PLAIT
curating by Juliette Laffon, Musée Bourdelle, Paris, France
, curating by Camille Morineau, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
La Force de l'art
, Grand Palais, curating by Jean-Louis Froment, Jean-Yves Jouannais, Didi Ottinger, Paris, France
SK-interfaces, Exploring Borders in Art, Technology and Society
, curating by Jens Hauser, Casino Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Le plateau, L'argent
, curating by Caroline Bourgeois, Elisabeth Lebovici, Paris, France
, curating by Eric de Mézil, Collection Lambert, Avignon, France
La Force de l'Art
, Grand Palais, Paris, France
Into Me/ Out of Me
, PS1, New York, United Sates
, National Slovakian Gallery, Bratislava, Slovakia
Superstars - Das Prinzip Prominenz. Von Warhol bis Madonna
, Kunsthalle & Kunstforum Wien, Austria
Inside Out Loud
, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis, United States
Mirror Mirror: reflections on beauty
, National gallery of Victoria, Melbourne National Museum of Australia, Canberra, Australia
, MUDAC, Lausanne, Switzerland
Moi ! Autoportraits du XXè siècle
, Musée du Luxembourg, Paris, France
Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy
Making Faces: the death of the portrait
, Hayward Gallery, London, United Kingdom
, Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland
Les Dix Commandements
, Deutsches Hygiene-Museum, Dresden, Germany
, Kunsthalle Wien, Wien, Austria
Art contemporain international
, Museum of Modern Art, Mexico
Magazin 4, Vorarlberger Kunstverein, Germany
Fondation Deste, Athens, Greece
, Biennale d'Art contemporain de Lyon, France
The wounded Diva: Hysteria, the body and Technologie in the art
, Kunsthaus Galerie im Lenbachhaus and Kunsteverein, München, Germany
The self is something else
, Kunstsammlung NRW 235, Düsseldorf, Germany
Biography and complete bibliography on www.orlan.net