The Reincarnation of Saint-Orlan, a new project that started in 1990, involves a series of plastic surgeries through which the artist transformed herself into elements from famous paintings and sculptures of women. As a part of her ‘Carnal Art’ manifesto, these works were filmed and broadcast in institutions throughout the world. Orlan’s goal in these surgeries is to acquire the ideal of female beauty as depicted by male artists. When the surgeries are complete, she will have the chin of Botticelli’s Venus, the nose of Jean-Léon Gérôme's Psyche, the lips of François Boucher’s Europa, the eyes of Diana (as depicted in a 16th-century French School of Fontainebleu painting), and the forehead of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Poetry is read and music is played while she lies on the operating table fully conscious of the events taking place.
Interior Scroll 1975 - Carolee Schneemann
Performed in East Hampton,NY and at the Telluride Film Festival, Colorado. Schneemann ritualistically stood naked on a table, painted her body with mud until she slowly exracted a paper scroll from her vagina while reading from it.
The Beauty Micrometer
“Recently perfected by Max Factor, one of Hollywood’s most famous beauty experts, a new instrument, designed to aid makeup men, accurately registers actors’ facial measurements and discloses which features should be reduced or enhanced in the makeup process.
Flaws almost invisible to the ordinary eye become glaring distortions when thrown upon the screen in highly magnified images; but Factor’s “beauty micrometer” reveals the defects.
The device, remotely resembling a baseball mask, fits over the head and face with flexible metal strips which conform closely to the various features. The strips are held in place by set screws, allowing for 325 possible adjustments. If, for instance, the subject’s nose is slightly crooked – so slightly, in fact, that it escapes ordinary observation – the flaw is promptly detected by the instrument and corrective makeup is applied by an experienced operator.”
The progressive escape of reality towards delusion is expressed in the pictures above. They were painted by Louis Wain, a European artist in the beginning of this century. Since Wain was young, he used to draw and paint cats for calendars, albums, postcards, etc. When he became 57 years old, he was affected by an unknow mental disorder , which overtook his life as well his art. The last 15 years of his life were spent in psychiatric institutions. His cat’s paintings started to change and to show startling images. Quite revealing of his psychotic condition were the cat’s eyes. See how they become fixed with hostility, even in the earliest paintings, because the psychotic probably tends to think that the world is looking upon him in a menacing way. Another sign is the fragmentation of the cat’s body. They become altered in a strange way under the psychotic’s gaze, and almost always are represented as distorted and phantastic shapes