(Saint-Étienne, France 1947. She lives and works in Paris, France, and New York, USA)
Now a professor at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Dijon, she has been active in sculpture, photography, video art, installations, and performances since 1965. In 1977, her performance The Artist Kiss was a great scandal and in 1978 she founded the International Symposium of Performance in Lyon, and later published the Manifesto of Carnal Art. Her work is based on the concept of identity and investigates the relations of the body and new technologies. The battle against the commercialization of the female body is the starting point and core of all her work as a body artist. An extreme performer, after undergoing several surgical operations in the early 1990s, she displays her body as a work of art in progress, in order to overcome an imposed idea of female beauty. Orlan rejects resolutely the female model, desired by the logic of the market and capitalism as well as by male thoughts and needs. In 1998 she launched the ongoing Self-Hybridation Project, a survey of different beauty standards in various civilizations and historical eras. She has held several retrospectives, among which were those at the Musée d’Art Moderne of Saint-Étienne in 2007 and at the Tallin Art Hall in Estonia in 2008.