Orlan was born on May 30, 1947, in St. Etienne; she moved to Paris, France in 1980. Presently, Orlan is a professor of Fine Arts at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Dijon. Beginning in the early 1970's and continuing through to the present, she has relied on her own body as her medium of choice. Influenced by Duchamp, she considers her body a "readymade" and refers to her work as "Carnal Art." Since the outset of her career, Orlan has remained at the forefront of contemporary transgressive art. In 1990, she began a series of plastic surgery operations (or performances), which she has continued throughout the decade. These performances constitute her most famous, most dangerous, and most controversial work to date. Orlan has always maintained specific interest in the representation of women throughout the history of art.