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exhibition « 04/04/04 »

From 3 April to 6 June 2004


« 04/04/04 » is part of a sequence of events for ORLAN in 2004 which has been especially rich. In collaboration with the CNP which is presenting the artist’s*, retrospective, the CCC is prioritizing a creative dynamic is this exhibition.


« 04/04/04 » sets up a dialogue between 2 works which have not been seen at all, taking a new look at ORLAN’s surgical operations. The two poles of this dialogue are the two time periods for this work in 1993 and 2004. It hinges on a new production on a massive scale from 2004, and a piece from 1993 which is already historic, and which has never been shown in Europe since it was created in New York.


« Pièce Lumineuse » (Light-filled Room) is the exhibition’s veritable epicentre and is the most recent work by ORLAN. It was produced specially for the exhibition in collaboration with architect Philippe Chiambaretta. As a counterpoint to this 2004 piece is the installation entitled ‘Omniprésence Entre-Deux’ (Halfway Omnipresence) created in New York in 1993 and up to now only shown in the US. She shows the halfway stage which normally remains hidden in her voluntary physical transfotmations, such as images of convalescence and internalised, idealised images underlying cosmetic surgery. This series of diptychs presents 41 portraits of the artist after the operation, and 41 portraits of the ‘quarantine’ period which develop day after day with the convalescence. These self-portraits created by the ‘machine-body’ face other virtual portraits created by morphing. They blend the artist’s face with images referenced in Western painting.


Based on the exhibition entitled ‘04/04/04, it is ORLAN’s intention to update and re-appropriate a part of her work. The series of cosmetic surgeries has often been turned into a show and distorted by the media, even though the period was limited and only lasted 3 years, at the risk of drowning out the true nature of ORLAN’s creations. Here the artist offers up a more internalised, more personal side which is always present.


* 31 March to 28 June 2004 Retrospective Exhibition ‘ORLAN – Methodes of the artists, 1964-2004’ at the ‘Centre National de la Photographie de Paris’.