Monday, March 14, 2011

drink the poison, trace the veins.

Goodbye to my 189E art history class.
Hello to a new and ongoing fascination for the subject matter.

With the help of a cranky printer, this morning was a bit hectic to say the least. Yet, I managed to turn in my final paper for my contemporary art history class...eight pages of nudity and ordeals in performance art. While it feels great to be done with the workload for the class, I must admit im gonna miss the exposure to such grand works twice a week.

Moving on to a topic im extremely intrigued by. French artist Orlan.
As I was investigating another bizarre, but ballsy artist, Vito Acconci (who I suggest you look up! try ubu.web for some of his work) I came across Orlan's life performance piece and was instantly hooked.The transformative artist underwent a series of plastic surgeries through which she incorporated famous features of women as portrayed by well-known artists and sculptors; a piece which is often referred to as The Reincarnation of St.Orlan. The list she used included, among several physical attributes, Venus’s chin as painted by Botticelli, Mona Lisa’s forehead as imagined by Da Vinci, as well as Psyche’s nose as created by Gerome. Orlan technically would come to be the living, breathing definition of beauty as thought of by some of the most brilliant participants in the art world, although such purpose was not the artist’s intention. Orlan wanted to continue a struggle against that which is programmed...that which is in our nature or God's plan if you will.To begin to appreciate Orlan's carnal art, one must try to reflect upon the surgeries as the artist herself did, without suffering and leading to the enlightenment of future generation concerning the pressures of beauty. I find it perplexing how a person can make their entire life one long performance, in which they're ever-changing but not because of true growth but because they have been trying to prove ONE point which emerged during youth.
I really wonder if she has changed her mind about the task she took upon herself to complete. And even if she has, I guess there's no goin back now, is there?

One thing is for sure, there was an immense amount of dedication which she placed in her craft. Whether it was mixed with idiocy is another matter entirely.

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