In 1990 after her third surgery she wore a Bride of Frankenstein wig in a portrait. She did this to bring attention to the fact that female beauty is defined by men for their own pleasure (Pescarmona 1).
Surgeries 7, 8 and 9 were the formation of a “mutant body”. During these surgeries Orlan had an implant inserted at her temples. This created the two bumps on her head. The largest breasts were also inserted for her body type (Faber 85).
Orlan views her work as blasphemous. She creates parodies of Christian figures by making cruciform positions on her operating table (Faber 86). These actions signify the intensity of rituals towards beauty. She tries to make the point that our traditional notions of what is beautiful are incorrect.
Alyda Faber argues that Orlan creates in her body plastic significance that patriarchal capitalist societies strive towards, it is a parodic saintliness that reveals the pain that such a body will endure.
1974 - Orlan went on a trip to Italy, after this trip she made self portraits as a Madonna. This was an Incidental Strip Tease using sheets. It was composed of 18 photographs, which were a gradual stripping of the artist, until she became like the nude Venus in Botticelli’s painting.
1978 - Orlan started the organization “Environment – Behaviour – Performance”. It was an international video and performance symposium in Lyon. She performed “Bare No Hair” (Flammarion)
Orlan calls her work Carnal Art. Denee Pescarmona states Carnal Art is a self – portrait in the classical sense, yet realized through the technology of its time. No longer seen as the ideal it once represented, the body has become ‘modified ready – made’. Carnal Art loves the baroque and parody; the grotesque and other such styles that have been left behind, because Carnal Art opposes the social pressures that are exerted upon both the human body and the corpuses of art”