Gen's upcoming events and Misc.upcoming projects...

GENS MISC. UPCOMING PROJECTS: Heartworm Press are publishing “Collected Lyrics and Poems of Genesis Breyer P-Orridge – Volume One 1961 to 1971. Later they will publish Gen's first novel, written in 1969, “Mrs. Askwith”. Other books will follow.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge Guardian Article August 2013

Genesis P-Orridge: 'People's lives should be as interesting as their art'

The Throbbing Gristle founder, once branded a 'wrecker of civilisation', talks about being given a poetry prize by Philip Larkin and reaching marital unity through plastic surgery
Genesis P-Orridge
Genesis P-Orridge: 'The press portray me as outrageous, but we have a way with animals.' Photograph: Andy Kropa/Getty Images North America
Hi Genesis! Your new photographic retrospective book about your life contains images of nudity and genital mutilation. (1) Yet some fans might be more shocked by the one of you as a cute little boy clutching a rabbit.
For the first nine years of my life we (2) weren't allowed pets because of my asthma, apart from that rabbit, which lived outdoors in a hutch. But we've had dogs since 1969. The media portray me as outrageous, but we have a way with animals and can train dogs so well that they don't need leads. We once took the dog shopping, went home and two hours later thought: "Where's the fucking dog?" We ran back like a maniac and she was still there, sitting outside the butcher's.
How did cute little Neil Megson become the notorious Genesis P-Orridge?
Solihull School radicalised me in terms of who are the enemy. All the other kids were being told: "You are the future leaders of Britain. You will be MPs or military generals." Then there was me. We started an underground magazine complaining about the school rules and actually got some of them changed, like the one which insisted that boys of 6ft 4in with stubble should always wear their school cap. It was ridiculous!
Were you a bit of a handful, even then?
There's one of my old school reports in the book. The English teacher – nicknamed Bog Brush because of his moustache – put: "Neil seems to live in a completely different universe to the rest of us. Very weird but very intelligent." We'd been quoting Tibetan Buddhism in essays about Shakespeare and stuff. He did recommend Jack Kerouac's On The Road to me, though, which convinced me that people's lives should be as interesting as the art they make. A lifelong manifesto.
Were you really given a prize at Hull University by Philip Larkin?
We went there to study philosophy and economics. God knows why. Within three weeks we thought: "We can't do this." So we started writing poetry. Philip Larkin – the librarian there – gave me the prize, and not long afterwards told the Times I was the most promising young poet in Britain. Which, of course, immediately stopped me writing poetry.
Most people form bands to be famous, make money and have sex. What motivated you to form Throbbing Gristle?
Well, we were already getting plenty of sex! We'd been doing this thing called Coum Transmissions and I remember wearing gas masks outside Hull town hall and this guy in a suit rushing up asking: "Who are you people?" The British Council sent us to Milan with Gilbert and George to represent British performance art, but one day I was talking to this old man in the pub who'd been gassed in the first world war. He'd said: "I understand you're trying to wake people up. But how many people in this pub would get it? Why don't you do something accessible, like music?" So we did.
How did you invent industrial music, which became a genre that has since inspired everyone from David Bowie to Marilyn Manson to Nine Inch Nails?
It was a process of reduction. We decided we didn't want a drummer, because that would immediately anchor us in rock history. At the beginning, we hit my bass strings with a leather glove to provide a rhythm. Chris Carter started building drum machines and weird gadgets.Sleazy Christopherson experimented with tape machines and cut ups because he was into [William] Burroughs. Cosey [Fanni Tutti] wanted to play lead guitar, which at the time was unheard of for a woman. We got one from Woolworths, but she said it was too heavy. So we took an electric saw and cut off the excess wood. That's how she ended up with that style of guitar.
How did you write songs?
We jammed every weekend throughout 1975, recording everything and listening to it back so we could use the best bits. Later, we added my deadpan Lou Reed voice and the various stories. It was about taking lyrics and imagery to the logical conclusion. Nothing was too extreme. Nothing was taboo.
Your first performance – the notorious "Prostitution" show at the ICA in 1976 – catapulted you to national attention.
Yeah. We had a plastic art deco clock filled with used tampons called It's That Time of the Month. The whole country was in uproar. Now those tampons are in the Tate National Collection of Fine Art – with the Turners, the Rothkos and the Constables.'
How did it feel to be branded "wreckers of civilisation" in the House of Commons?
We were so proud. We had a flyer with that on it the very next day. The irony of it was that Sir Nicholas Fairbairn – the [Tory] MP who called us that – was involved in various sex scandals. And his mistress, a House of Commons secretary, tried to hang herself outside his office. It was classic British hypocrisy: everything we were against.
Is it true that TG's 20 Jazz Funk Greats album was returned to the shops by irate jazz funk fans compaining: "This isn't jazz funk. It's horrible noise!"?
There was a lot of dark, twisted humour in TG.
Your Twitter page says you're "STILL!" a member of TG. Does that mean the band still exists?
I never quit the band even though the others said I did. I just didn't do the last two gigs for reasons that will become clear eventually – it was the people around them on the business side. But Sleazy died not long after, so maybe it was the end of our natural life as a band.
TG and your other band Psychic TV both became international cults without entering the mainstream. Would you have liked hits?
Well Godstar (3) got to No 29. But going on Top of the Pops would have ruined everything. It would have made it much more difficult to write books, do art exhibitions and set up religions and be taken seriously. Once you have a hit, it just becomes another old song. Mick Jagger is 70 and still singing Satisfaction every concert. That would drive me insane.
Were you really the last person to speak to Joy Division's Ian Curtis before he killed himself?
Ian Curtis was a young genius. We were the last person he spoke to on the phone. He said: "I don't want to go on the American tour. I'd rather be dead." He sang our song Weeping – about suicide – down the phone. We were ringing people in Manchester, saying: "You've got to go round to Ian's because he's going to try and kill himself." The people we got through to went, "Oh, he's always being dramatic" and the other people were out. Even now it really upsets me.
In 1992, you were hounded from the UK by the tabloids and the police, amid allegations of "Satanic ritual abuse"? What happened?
Sleazy had made this film of young boys: LA skateboarders who meet this guy who puts an implant in their arms so every time they press a button they get an orgasm. After a while it burns out the nerves, so they put it in their cocks. It was all fake, but when I first saw it, I said: "Sleazy. People will think this is real."
So you aren't a Satanist, Gen?
That's so far from what we are. We were actually in Kathmandu using our own money to help Tibetan monks feed beggars and refugees when the papers called us "Satanists". Scotland Yard raided my house and took everything, then told my lawyers that if I'd tell them who made the film, they'd forget all about it. But we wouldn't snitch. We lost everything: two homes, our children gave up their friends. Sleazy never thanked me. That was disappointing.
You moved to America and met Lady Jaye Breyer (4), your second wife, musical collaborator and soulmate. Where did you find her?
In a friend's dungeon. We were in the middle of a not very pleasant divorce, so every so often we'd come to New York for a break and basically go wild. We were fast asleep with all these torture instruments after being awake for three days, woke up and this beautiful tall, slim girl wearing 60s clothing with a Brian Jones haircut walks past, then gets changed into this really sexy leather outfit. I was thinking: "Dear universe, if I can be with this woman for the rest of my life, that's all I want." She came over and we were in love from that moment. We got a windfall from a court case and rather than do what everyone else does and buy a Ferrari and a big house, we realised it meant we could be free to never work, just be in love and create things. Thank goodness, because we spent every minute together for the whole time she was physically on this planet. If we'd have done things the normal way, we'd have just seen each other at dinnertime when we were tired.
Why did you start pandrogyny [having plastic surgery to look the same as each other]?
Well, you know that moment when you meet someone and think: "I want to eat you, be immersed in you?" It began like that, and then we began to see more ramifications in terms of how society is controlled and evolution. Humans have to realise they're not individuals, but individual parts of the same organism, with responsibility to each other.
The photographs of Jaye and of you after her death (5) show a deeply moving, intimate side of you that the public has never seen. Was it difficult sifting through those photos?
My friend Leigha Mason selected them because it was impossible for me. My parents and all the animals in the photos apart from Musty, my Pekinese, are dead. Lady Jaye has dropped her body. We believe in reincarnation, but that was really hard.


(1) The book Genesis Breyer P-Orridge is published by First Third Books in deluxe and standard editions.
(2) Genesis usually refers to h/erself in the second person as "we".
(3) 1985 Psychic TV single, a tribute to dead Rolling Stone Brian Jones.
(4)Former nurse Jacqueline Breyer, also known as Miss Domination. After marriage Genesis adopted the name Genesis Breyer P-Orridge.
(5) In 2007, from a heart attack related to stomach cancer.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Coum Transmissions LP arriving from Dais records this October and THE BRITISH GOVERMENT Coum pieces -1975- inducted into the Tate Britain

The cover for the forthcoming COUM Transmissions "Aged Home & The 18 Month Hope" LP. Out on Dais Records this October.

COUM Transmissions' "THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT" (1975) has officially been inducted into the permanent collection of the TATE BRITAIN!
INVISIBLE-EXPORTS is proud to announce the inclusion of COUM Transmissions' "THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT" (1975) into the collection of the TATE BRITAIN.

SFAQ article on Breyer P-Orridge Warhol exhibit CHILDREN ART ENTERTAINMENT

article taken from

Children, Art, Entertainment

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge "Two into One We Go" Mixed Media, 2003. Courtesy of the artist and Invisible Exports, NY.
Genesis Breyer P-Orridge “Two into One We Go” Mixed Media, 2003. Courtesy of the artist and Invisible Exports, NY.

Two days ago Genesis Breyer P-Orridge gave an artist talk to accompany he/r ongoing retrospective at the Andy Warhol museum in Pittsburgh. After the talk a hoard of people lined up, cell phones out to get pictures with Genesis. Suddenly s/he felt a presence behind he/r and turned to look. Standing in the center of the stage was a dignified little girl, waiting. Genesis said “hello” and the child walked over and extended her hand—unfurled it with a kind of strange elegance—and said: “My name is Madison. I’m nine years old. I’ve loved your work all my life and I wanted to meet you.” Genesis thanked her, shook her hand, and asked where her parents were. Madison walked h/er across the stage to meet her father who said “she’s been nagging me about coming to this talk since January.” “Have you seen the exhibition?” Genesis asked. “Twice, and I’m going back,” said Madison. Genesis asked if she could give her a kiss on the top of her head and then did.

Madison and Genesis at the Andy Wahol Museum. Photo by Vanessa Sinclair
Madison and Genesis at the Andy Wahol Museum. Photo by Vanessa Sinclair

Who is this angel child, precocious enough to love Genesis Breyer P-Orridge at nine years old? We are keeping our eyes out for her in years to come!

I liked this story because it speaks to how grossly underestimated the intelligence of children is in our culture. Given that they have a vast and complex capacity to understand, why is it that most of the “entertainment” created for children today is banal and insipid? The fact is there are social and economic forces with a vested interest in dampening children’s sense of the possible: the first violent step in a larger societal project to create docile consumers and apathetic political subjects.

One disturbing example: an artist told me she was turned away from Paul McCarthy’s White Snow at the Armory with her two-week-old baby because “no one under seventeen could be admitted.” “But he is two-weeks-old—he can’t really “see” physiologically; furthermore, I’m his mother and I say he can go in.” The Park Avenue Armory staff told her under no circumstances could she enter with her child.

still, Walt Disney Studios "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" 1937.
still, Walt Disney Studios “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” 1937.

Marie-Louis von Franz, the Jungian expert on fairytales, said that one of the dangers of the “Disneyfication” of fairytales for children is that they flatten out the multifaceted nature of archetypes so that characters become the embodiment of pure good or total evil. It is clear that by reinhabiting Snow White Paul McCarthy is complicating a beloved childhood visual vocabulary, born at the intersection of American Puritanism and consumerism. I think White Snow is both a love letter to the aesthetics of classic Disney films and a statement on the profound role these images and stories have in shaping our future psychic lives.

Champions of censorship in all forms usually cry “think of the children!” And let’s, because if we actually think about children and their intelligences do we would change what they get to see and how they are treated in exactly the opposite ways culture warriors demand.

—Contributed by Jarrett Earnest

Thursday, August 8, 2013

G.P.O vs. G-P.O reissue forthcoming from Primary Informationj

From Genesis manager Ryan Martin

Really excited to announce that our good friends over at Primary Information are releasing a limited edition reissue of famed mail art book G.P.O vs. G-P.O. from 1976 (originally published by John Armleder's Ecart imprint) which documents Genesis P-orridge’s collection of materials surrounding Great Britain’s General Post Office’s case against him for disseminating pornographic material through the mail in 1975. Only $16!

Had a great time working with James and Miriam on this project, glad it is finally seeing the light of day once again!

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Warhol Exhibit article

Artists test boundaries of identity in Warhol Museum exhibition

August 7, 2013 12:13 am
Artists Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, left, and Lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge in 2003.
  • Artists Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, left, and Lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge in 2003.
  • Genesis P-Orridge's "Mum & Dad" from 1971.
  • "Untitled" by Genesis Breyer P-Orridge
  • Genesis Breyer P-Orridge's "English Breakfast" from 2009.
Click image to enlarge
Co-founder of the pioneering British industrial rock band Throbbing Gristle, acquaintance of bad-boy writer William S. Burroughs, pilgrim in the esoteric realm of Tibetan Buddhism, author, provocateur, philosophershaman -- Genesis Breyer P-Orridge has quite the resume.

But the artist's most challenging and groundbreaking endeavor is the Pandrogyne Project, which, in its most elemental sense, co-joined two individuals through the physical and behavioral self-transformation of each.
The ongoing project is the creation of Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and h/er late wife, Lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge (1969-2007). (Pronouns used in this review are those preferred by the artist.) It is also the framework for an exceptional exhibition at The Andy Warhol Museum, "Genesis Breyer P-Orridge: S/HE Is HER/E."

Born Neil Megson in England in 1950, the artist looks like a proper, if impish, British school boy in a photograph incorporated into "Demon Child," one of a number of Polaroid pieces that show a connection to Andy Warhol's working methods. S/he attended a conservative boys boarding school and was raised Anglican but managed to pursue Fluxus and Dadaistinterests as a teen.

In 1969, Genesis P-Orridge founded art collective COUM Transmissions, which carried out guerrilla street performances and later moved into art venues as performance art became an established medium of expression. Their rawness prompted a British parliamentarian to declare the collective "wreckers of civilization," and the group retreated from public to private space so as to not have its expression intimidated.

The sting remains as evidenced in such exhibition works as the 2009 "English Breakfast," which presents the Queen Mother literally with egg on her face in a collage work that recalls the paintings of Renaissance artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo. "The British Government," comprising photographs, the Union Jack and taxidermied mice, is Joseph Cornell with menace.

The collective was about testing limits, said Nicholas Chambers, museum and exhibition curator. "Limits of what the human body could endure and limits of what was acceptable in social behavior. Do we get to the edge here? Here? It's about pushing the envelope."

That's a characteristic of the Pandrogyne Project also, but to surprisingly futuristic goals.
This is Genesis Breyer P-Orridge's first museum exhibition, comprising more than 100 works selected from a four-decade career. The art reflects a searching intelligence, from early "Sigils" -- collages infused with archetypal symbols meant as guides to focusing energy in the manner of mandalas -- to the three vials of "Alchymical Wedding" that hold both artists' body residue, such as hair and nails. The central vial, harboring a mix, could provide the means to clone their Pandrogyne self, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge pointed out.

Mr. Chambers wisely chose to use the Pandrogyne Project as the show's framework, giving manageable form to an extensive oeuvre while focusing on the most contemporary expression. He found antecedent to the project's more pronounced recent exploration, and deconstruction, of the body as early as the 1970s in photographs of a handsome Genesis P-Orridge as performance artist. The word pandrogyne appears in one of the artist's notebooks from the 1980s, Mr. Chambers said, but the concept was not articulated formally until 2003 in an essay, "Breaking Sex."
Despite that title, Pandrogyne is not so much concerned with notions of sexuality or gender but rather of oneness.
"The source of tension, the root of most human problems, is our binary world -- the either or, you or me, black or white, Christian or Muslim," Genesis Breyer P-Orridge said when in Pittsburgh for the exhibition opening.

The Pandrogyne concept is "never either/or but both/and. It's not exclusive. It's extraordinarily inclusive," Mr. Chambers explained.

It's also quite romantic, in the uber-love shared by the Breyer P-Orridges that drove the desire to eliminate distinctions and become one. In their encompassing devotion to and idealization of love, they follow in the tradition of the great British Romantic poets. The transcendent component of the joining suggests spirituality.
"I always thought art was a spiritual journey," Genesis Breyer P-Orridge said.

Beyond that fusion are other possibilities that may be achieved once humankind frees itself from the presumed confines of its DNA. "Once you let go of the notion that the body has to look a certain way," doors are opened to a new "evolutionary trajectory," Genesis Breyer P-Orridge said.

In pursuit of the Pandrogyne state, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and Lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge initiated a number of measures, some of which were physical, such as receiving breast implants or hormone therapy. "Sometimes they were not as invasive, such as changing a hairstyle," Mr. Chambers said. "Sometimes they were just altering their behavior."
With the untimely death of Lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge is "the embodiment of the Pandrogyne Project," Mr. Chambers said.

While Genesis Breyer P-Orridge acknowledged occasional loneliness, s/he still feels connected to Lady Jaye and said they continue to work together. Their experience of Buddhism led them to "the conclusion that there is reincarnation," the artist said. "She is in another dimension. We do feel her presence," s/he said using the plural that has become second-nature.

The unconventional nature of the Pandrogyne Project, and of its artworks including the central sentient one, is admittedly a challenge that the viewer has to make peace with. But as with other contemporary artists who work in extreme modes, the earnest intent is dialogue, not sensationalism. Consider Orlan (implications of body modification through cosmetic surgery) and Stelarc (exploration of body-Internet compatibility), both of whom Genesis Breyer P-Orridge knows.
It's a discussion for which s/he has done the difficult groundwork. The opportunity to listen and to consider is ours.

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge will perform with the group Psychic TV/PTV 3 at 8 p.m. Aug. 16 at the New Hazlett Theater, North Side ($25; $20 students and members). S/he will give a talk at 2 p.m. Aug. 17 at The Warhol (free with museum admission).
The exhibition continues through Sept. 15 at 117 Sandusky St., North Side. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and until 10 p.m. Friday. Admission is $20; students and others ages 3-18, $10; 5-10 p.m. Friday, half-price. Also continuing through Sept. 15 are "Caldwell Linker: All Through the Night" and "Nick Bubash: The Patron Saint of White Guys That Went Tribal and Other Works."
Related Voices Gallery Talks are "Queer and Brown in Steeltown with Raquel Rodrigez and Ayanah Moor," 2 p.m. Aug. 24, and "Troubling the Line: An Excerpt -- Poetry Reading and Conversation With Jenny Johnson and Ari Banias," 2 p.m. Aug. 31 (free with museum admission).
For information or Psychic TV tickets, call 412-237-8300 or visit
Post-Gazette art critic Mary Thomas: or 412-263-1925.
First Published August 7, 2013 12:00 am

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