ORLAN is born in Saint-Etienne, France.
She lives and works between Paris, Los Angeles and New York.
She explores different techniques such as photography, video, sculpture, drawing, installation, performance, biotechnology, etc.

She was the first artist to use surgery as an artistic medium.

ORLAN’s work was featured in several Biennales of Contemporary Art: in France, in the Museum of Modern Art in Paris (1975, 1980), Nice (1981) and Lyon (1995, 2000); in Italy, Venice Biennale (1986, 1993, 1997, 2007 and 2009) ; in Turkey, Istanbul Biennale (2001); in Poland, Poznan Biennale (2008); in Australia, Biennale of Sydney (1992), ; in Russia, Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2004, 2009),  and in South Korea, Busan Biennale (2008).

ORLAN’s work was featured in many exhibitions, among others in museums

She is professor at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Arts of Paris-Cergy 
She is regularly invited by universities and institutions worldwide to give lectures and master-classes

ORLAN’s work is published in a large number of books including monographs recently released :
- Rhonda K. Garelick and Jorge Daniel Veneciano (editors), Homi K. Bhabha, Michel Serres, Isabel Tejeda, Paul Virilio, Lan Vu, Faboulous Harlequin, ORLAN and the patchwork self, Lincoln, NE, The University of Nebraska Press, 2010.

- Simon Donger and Simon Sheperd (editors), Gianna Bouchard, Christine Buci-Glucksmann, Howard Caygill, Simon Donger, Sander L. Gilman, Markus Hallensleben, Jens Hauser, Dominic Johnson, Stéphane Malysse, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Catherine Petitgas, Simon Shepherd, Paul Virilio, and Sarah Wilson, ORLAN, a Hybrid Body of Artworks, London, Routledge Editions, 2010.

- Raphael Enthoven, ORLAN, Raoul Vaneigem, Unions Libres, Mariages Mixtes et Noces Barbares, Paris, Editions Dilecta, 2010.

- ORLAN, Paul Virilio, Transgression, Transfiguration [conversation], Paris, Editions L’Une et l’Autre, 2009

- Joerg Bader, Lorand Hegyi, Marcela Iacub, Donald Kuspit, Peggy Phelan, Eugenio Viola, ORLAN, The Narrative/Le Récit, Milan, Editions Charta, 2007.

- Bernard Blistène, Christine Buci-Glucksmann, Caroline Cros, Régis Durand, Eleanor Heartney, Laurent Le Bon, Hans Ulrich Obrist, ORLAN, Vivian Rehberg, Julian Zugazagoitia, ORLAN, Carnal Art, Paris, Editions Flammarion, 2004.