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Visions of Excess

Title: Visions of Excess: Orlan's Operational Theater.
Name(s): Tessin, Stephanie, author
Jolles, Adam, professor directing thesis
Nasgaard, Roald, committee member
Flores, Tatiana, committee member
Department of Art History, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2007
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: When French avant-garde artist Orlan elected to surgically alter her face during a series of performances in the 1990s, she provoked extreme reactions both within art criticism and the popular press. Rather than focus on the artist's mental health or intentions, I hope to connect her corpus of performances since the 1960s to taboos imposed upon the body. By blurring the boundaries between sexualized and sacred bodies and evoking the horror of death through self-mutilation, Orlan defiantly breaks these taboos. My thesis relates Orlan's deconstruction of religious, art-historical, and social constructs to Georges Bataille's writings on taboo and transgression. My connection between his vast body of literature and Orlan's performances centers on his formulations of eroticism and sacrifice, and his description of transgression as the blurring of binary forces. I argue that Bataille's writings that describe transgression as a gateway to inner experience resonate with Orlan's outrageous performances.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-1613 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Art History in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Masters of Art.
Degree Awarded: Fall Semester, 2007.
Date of Defense: October 22, 2007.
Keywords: Performance Art, Transgression, Taboo, Georges Bataille, Orlan, Contemporary Art
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory committee: Adam Jolles, Professor Directing Thesis; Roald Nasgaard, Committee Member; Tatiana Flores, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Art -- History
Architecture -- History
Archaeology -- History
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Tessin, S. (2007). Visions of Excess: Orlan's Operational Theater. Retrieved from