MANIFESTO OF CARNAL ART
Carnal Art transforms the body into language, reversing the biblical idea of the word made flesh ; the flesh is made word. Only the voice of Orlan remains unchanged. The artist works on representation.
Carnal Art finds the acceptance of the agony of childbirth to be
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Taken from Orlan's website:
I'm increasingly interested in carnal art. There's a book I've just started reading called "Carnal Art: Orlan's Refacing" - it's suprising, but the purported goals of Orlan are much the same as mine. Which leads me to believe that my work is far, far too tame. Or in Rena's words, too polite. Here's a short quote taken from an interview with Orlan (cited from "Carnal Art"):
"A few words...on these images... Sorry to have to make you suffer, but know that I do not suffer-unlike you- when I watch these images. Few images force us to close our eyes: death, suffering, the opening of the body, certain aspects of pornography (for certain people), or for others, birth. Here the eyes become black holes into which the image is absorbed willingly or by force. These images plunge in and strike directly where it hurts, without passing through habitual filters, as if the eyes no longer had any connection with the brain."
Reading about Orlan and I ran across a reference to "The Theatre of Cruelty" created by surealist Antonin Artaud in the early decades of the 20th century. Here's a bit taken from wikipedia:
The Theatre of Cruelty (French: Théâtre de la Cruauté) is a concept in Antonin Artaud's book The Theatre and its Double. “Without an element of cruelty at the root of every spectacle, the theatre is not possible. In our present state of degeneration it is through the skin that metaphysics must be made to re-enter our minds” (Artaud, The Theatre and its Double). By cruelty, he meant not sadism or causing pain, but rather a violent, austere, physical determination to shatter the false reality which, he said, "lies like a shroud over our perceptions."
On the nature of cruelty (also from wikipedia):
Antonin Artaud spoke of cruelty (french: cruauté) not in the sense of being violent, but the cruelty it takes for actors to completely strip away their masks and show an audience a truth that they do not want to see. He believed that text had been a tyrant over meaning, and advocated, instead, for a theatre made up of a unique language that lay halfway between thought and gesture. Artaud described the spiritual in physical terms, and believed that all expression is physical expression in space.