Orlan is a controversial French artist, and she uses her body as the canvas, and her art creating tool is plastic surgeries. From 1990 to 1995, Orlan had nine plastic surgery operations. She aimed to use her body to rewrite the Western art.
“One operation altered her mouth to imitate that of François Boucher’s Europa, and another changed her forehead to mimic the protruding brow of Leonardo’s Mona Lisa, while yet another altered her chin to look like that of Botticelli’s Venus.”
Each of her operation was like a performance, which her operating table was her baroque theatre. The surgery costumes that Orlan wear was designed by famous designers, such as Paco Rabanne and Issey Miyake. And each one of her “performance” was captured on video, broadcast in galleries. For Orlan, these experience were all revelatory moments as in the Western art, women’s historic role were mostly undressed and on the receiving end of the male gaze, but this time, she was both observer and observed.
The reason that Orlan decided to go under the knife, again and again, it was because she believed she could turn her body into a powerful work of art. She commented that her work is “struggle against the innate, the inexorable, the programmed, nature, DNA – and God.” And she also believes her work should be underlined as feminism. “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.”
The British artist Genesis Breyer P-Orridge fulfilled a quixotic long-term project, which is turning himself into his wife. The story of the artist P-Orridge and his wife has been filmed as a documentary called “The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye.” P-Orridge attempted to replicate himself as his wife, the women that he share an identity, a profile, even beauty marks.It all started in 1993 when he met Jacqueline Breyer. And they unavoidably fall in love with each other.
“We fell in love the minute we saw each other, and as we became more and more obsessively in love, we had that whole feeling of ‘I wish I could eat you up. I wish I could just take you, and I become you and you become me,’” P-Orridge said.
At the 10th anniversary, P-Orridge and his wife decided to participate in the project which they called “Pandrogeny” as a present to each other. On Valentine’s Day 2003, they underwent matching sets of breast implants, and eyes, nose surgeries followed. In the subsequent years, the couple received cheek and chin implants, lip plumping, liposuction, a tattooed beauty mark, and hormone therapy together. They dressed in identical outfits. Each mimicked the other’s mannerisms.
Ken Rinaldo is an American artist who recognized for his interactive robotics and bio-art installations, which inspired by the natural systems and organic environments. His Cascading Gardens is a living installation uses vermiponics (live worms and their waste) to fertilize vegetables, and features custom vertical grow bags that Rinaldo developed for use both indoors and outdoors and in wet and dry environments. Each bag can be planted with a variety of plants, such as kale, lettuce, cabbage and other local vegetables for easy to harvest edibles just about anywhere.
Rinaldo is concerned with the idealized melding or an intersection that he believes is possible between natural and technological systems. He believed the co-evolution of the natural and the non-organic electro-mechanical elements are very important and necessary. His artworks are influenced and evolve with research into living systems theory, artificial life and the current technologies we use to model and express mimesis through our current understanding of natural living systems.
Donger, S., Shepherd, S., Orlan, & Ebrary, Inc. (2010). Orlan : A hybrid body of artworks (1st ed.). London ; New York: Routledge.
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Juzwiak, R. (2011). The Strange Love of Genesis P-Orridge and Lady Jaye [online] Available at: http://www.mtv.com/news/2694290/the-strange-love-of-genesis-p-orridge-and-lady-jaye/ [Accessed 28th October 2016].
Orden, E. (2009). I Am My Own Wife[online] Available at: http://nymag.com/arts/art/profiles/58864/ [Accessed 28th October 2016].
Orlan: An Interview. (2015). [Interview] San Francisco, California, USA : Kanopy.
Rinaldo, K. (n.d.). Cascading Gardens [online] Available at: http://www.kenrinaldo.com/portfolio/cascading-gardens-2013-knowleton-lisbon-russia/ [Accessed 28th October 2016].
Rinaldo, K. (1998). Special Section: Artificial Life Art [Introduction]. Leonardo, 31(5), pp.370.
Routine, S.(2012). One Body, but Often Second Person [online] Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/22/nyregion/genesis-breyer-p-orridge-stays-in-on-sundays-and-misses-lady-jaye.html [Accessed 28th October 2016].