Genesis Breyer P-Orridge
First Third Books released an ambitious new project on the life of Genesis Breyer P-Orridge – music pioneer, artist and body evolutionist. Independently produced in limited numbers, this is a superb quality book devoted to the controversial life and work of one of the most extraordinary artists of modern time.
Born Neil Megson, reborn as artist Genesis P-Orridge, reborn once again as a gender-erasing pandrogyne – Genesis Breyer P-Orridge has never let art, life or evolution stand in the way of imagination. As a Fluxus and Dada-inspired performance artist with COUM Transmissions, the post-hippie Breyer P-Orridge determined to revolutionise everyday life. By the late ’70s, Breyer P-Orridge was fronting Throbbing Gristle, a defiantly anti-rock experiment so successful that it launched the entirely new genre of Industrial Music. TG also pioneered a self-determining model for independent music- making that still flourishes today. Breyer P-Orridge’s next project, the music and arts collec- tive Psychic TV, explored a deep interest in fetishism, magick and ritual, with an emphasis on body art. A prime mover in the 80’s Modern Primitives subculture, from which the latter- day mass trend for tattooing and piercing emerged, Breyer P-Orridge has since taken body politics several stages further with pandrogeny, a ‘third gender’ project launched in the late 90’s with wife and life-partner Lady Jaye. After Jaye ‘dropped her body’ in 2007, Genesis remains even more devoted to pandrogeny, which s/he insists is more about consciousness than the body.
This, the first high-end monograph dedicated to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, is a testament to a life spent exploring the outer limits of creative expression – often landing the artist in deep controversy. Working with artist Leigha Mason, Genesis has mined h/er personal archives for many of the 350+ photographs included, and has added insightful personal commentary throughout. A detailed forward in the form of a Q&A with rock journalist Mark Paytress explores the cultural importance of the work of this self-styled ‘cultural engineer’.
The deluxe edition, housed in a special PTV-inspired box, includes a poster of ‘intimate’ Gen and Jaye Polaroids, a 96-page art catalogue and 3 original 7” singles specially recorded by Genesis and friends for this project. Despite the current career-spanning retrospective at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Breyer P-Orridge’s work is by no means over. “We feel it’s a duty and responsibility of an artist to explain themselves and share what they know and who inspired them. It’s important to encourage the next group of people who’ll question things and try and short circuit control again.” As ever, the modus operandi is: “Viva la evolution!!!” Limited to 1323 numbered books, including 333 deluxe versions only available through the First Third Books website.
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