ORLAN: The Harlequin's Coat

Projection installation and documentary developed for ORLAN in collaboration with Dominic Pearce, 2008 for Still: Living exhibition.

Produced by Orlan

Projection Mapped Video Wall and Documentary creatred by Steven Aaron Hughes and Dominic Perace


Harlequin Coat presents the realization of a composite, organic coat, made from an assemblage of pieces of skin of different colours, ages and origins. This prototype of a biotechnological coat, consisting of in vitro skins in coloured diamond shaped petri dishes, will be made to sy m bolise cultural crossbreeding. This project continues ORLAN’s investigation into hybridisation using digital photography. Her recent series, entitled Self-Hybridation: Précolo m bienne , Self-Hybridation: Africaine and Self-Hybridation: Indiens d’A m érique endeavoured to crossbreed beauty canons of other cultures and other m edia (sculpture, photography, painting) with the artists’ own image.The Harlequin Coat project develops and continues the idea of crossbreeding and hybridization, using the m ore carnal m ediu m of skin cells. This work on the figure of the Harlequin is inspired by the text “Laicité” written by French Philosopher Michel Serres, in which he uses the Harlequin as a m etaphor for multiculturalism . 

Harlequin Coat seeks to raise various questions: “Can skins of different colours be cultivated? What kind of infor m ation can be obtained fro mthe donors? Can a person still be the owner of his or her cells? Does self-ownership continue to exist at the fragmented level? How are such issues perceived in various countries, and especially in the context of a non-western viewpoint?”