Black Lives Matter. We stand in solidarity with those affected by generations of structural violence. You can help »

The Brooklyn Rail

APRIL 2020

All Issues
APRIL 2020 Issue
In Memoriam A Tribute to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Jordi Valls

Jordi Valls and Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Berlin ATONAL festival, 1983. Courtesy the author. Photo by Thomas Helmtag.

One morning in 1977, I bumped into Genesis P-Orridge in the middle of London. Gen had a shoulder bag with a big “vagina dentata” on it. I recognized he/r from a picture I saw some time before in a music paper with a long interview where Gen said almost nothing about music but a lot on new ideas and provocative concepts. Somehow we spoke for almost one hour. Before parting s/he invited me to see Throbbing Gristle play the following week in High Wycombe, a town next to London. That was my first TG mind blowing concert experience. Genesis played the electric violin sounding like a meeting in Hell between Stockhausen and Jimi Hendrix. I loved this. Brilliant. Thereafter, we kept in touch one way or the other, till the day Genesis sadly dropped he/r body in March 2020.  

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge's astronomic worldwide impact and influence on music, art, collage, performance, books, and magic is very remarkable. A memorable quote by Gen is “I'm personally against the idea of being male or female.” Gen's phenomenal Pandrogeny art project, where he/r body becomes ONE intertwined masterpiece to he/r paramount love, Lady Jaye. What a colossal idea! We all agree Genesis was a very charismatic human being. S/he was terribly nice to us and our young children Zeus and Zoë, and taught them songs full of swear words. Good clean fun. S/he could be very funny and was very articulate and a great listener too. Always helpful to lots of people. When Gen was at the recording studio while the PTV friends were having tea break, Genesis always let me do my own recordings for free with the help of their record producer. When Gen was recording The Full Pack (1983) I told he/r I would do a Vagina Dentata Organ LP with only the soundtrack of the wolves. Quick as a thunderbolt Gen just said: Do it! This was my first album under the name of Vagina Dentata Organ. When Monte Cazazza in California got the Jim Jones death tapes with the help of the American “freedom of information act” he gave the tapes to Genesis in London, and Gen gave the tapes to me without me asking for them. So I made Jim Jones, The Last Supper picture-disc LP. Another time I had in mind to make an album with explicit sex sounds. When I made a passing comment on this s/he gave me a pile of audio cassette tapes of couples having sex. I'm writing all this to show that Genesis had an exceptional kind character, and was always helpful, not just to me, but also to lots of other people. 

Genesis will be greatly missed by he/r loving daughters Caresse and Genesse. And also by many friends. Now Genesis is immortal.

Contributor

Jordi Valls

Jordi Valls is a Catalan performer and visual and audio artist. Valls arranged live actions for Whitehouse and Throbbing Gristle before releasing his own records as Vagina Dentata Organ in the early eighties. He continues to release recordings and perform live sporadically, as well as working in visual art.

close

The Brooklyn Rail

APRIL 2020

All Issues