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The Brooklyn Rail

APRIL 2020

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

Michael Fox

Lady Jaye and Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, 2002, courtesy the author.

I met Genesis and Jaye in 1996. At the time, I was weaning myself off the fashion business, driving a yellow cab and working with Tom Sachs as his studio manager before he became famous. I would see them fairly regularly as my partner, Michael, was their friend and hairdresser. We would go out to dinner, to clubs, performances, art openings, or whatever, and we all shared a love of the same popular culture references. I used to take a lot of pictures, and Jaye and Gen were always willing subjects. We were comfortable with each other and they were a lot of fun to be with, very friendly, and of course, visually they were quite appealing. Gen’s daughter, Caresse, used to babysit for Michael’s two children. Caresse is a sweetheart. Gen used to dote on both of he/r daughters. S/he was so proud of them. Caresse lived with Jaye and Gen and Genesse lived with her mother in California.

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge 2002, courtesy the author.

"Lovebirds" 2002, courtesy the author.

When I began the process of becoming a police officer, Gen was intrigued by the idea of me being a cop, and s/he was always very supportive. While going through my training at the Police Academy, I mentioned to Gen that I was working on a cultural diversity project and that I had chosen Santería as my topic. Gen jumped right in and was very enthusiastic about this. S/he was a subject matter expert on Santería, and was also extremely well versed in most religions: Paganism, the occult, spiritualism, Magick, voodoo, cults, Aleister Crowley, Timothy Leary, etc. Gen loved books. S/he was a great historian and an excellent teacher. As fortune would have it, Gen was in the midst of a Santería phase, and s/he helped me with my project by giving me several signed books on Santería and introducing me to a few local santeros in my neighborhood. Gen was deeply immersed in the New York City Santería culture at that time, which was around 1999. Needless to say, I was well prepared for my presentation. Months later, Gen invited me to he/r initiation ritual where s/he was ordained as a santero, which was an unforgettable closed-door affair.

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge 2003, courtesy the author.
Genesis Breyer P-Orridge 2002, courtesy the author.

Jaye and Gen truly complemented each other. They struck a perfect balance and shared a profound love. You could see it in the way that they looked at each other and told stories like they were of one mind. They were so sweet together, like a freaky John and Yoko. Jaye used to say that her body was “like a cheap suitcase carrying around her consciousness,” and I know that Gen missed her terribly when she dropped her body and left this world. I imagine that Gen is at peace now and very happy to be united with Jaye again. I feel lucky to have such mischievous guardian angels.

Contributor

Michael Fox

Michael Fox has known and worked closely with Genesis for over 20 years. His photographs of Genesis have been published in Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (First ThirdBooks, 2013), and exhibited at Marlborough Gallery. He curated Jayne County, Paranoia Paradise at PARTICIPANT, INC and published Paranoia Paradise: Interviews with Jayne County, Volumes One and Two (2018), and his photographs of County have been published in BUTT Magazine (Issue 25, December 2008) and Artforum (February 2018) and exhibited at PARTICIPANT, INC and James Barron Art. He is presently a sergeant with the New York City Police Department.

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The Brooklyn Rail

APRIL 2020

All Issues