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In Memoriam

A Tribute to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

S/HE IS (STILL) HER/E

Fittingly for the name s/he* chose, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge was a protean figure who incalculably influenced the worlds of music, art, performance, literature, and the occult for over half a century.

A Tribute to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Lia Gangitano

This intimate transformation, perhaps, was a new form of deliverance for Genesis, whose body offered a direct visual manifestation of a range of performative actions and life experience spanning decades, encompassing physical endurance, ornamentation, collective and individual action.

A Tribute to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Carl Abrahamsson

This remarkable artist changed things, thinking, people, movements, art, memories, perceptions, culture in general, and so many other things; I cannot think of any other punch-packer of similar stature in the western world of art and esotericism.

A Tribute to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Edley ODowd

In 1998 I had received a call from my old friend (and first girlfriend back in 1984) Jackie. Best known to most as "Lady Jaye.” She reported that she was back in NYC and had taken over her grandmother’s building in the now gentrified area of Ridgewood.

A Tribute to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

William Breeze

Gen's life followed the basic pattern of Joseph Campbell's “hero's journey,” with elements of the Dionysian as described in the ur-text of the British counterculture, Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy (1872).

A Tribute to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Roxy Farman

I’VE NEVER HAD A FRIENDSHIP LIKE THIS ONE BEFORE OR EXPERIENCED SUCH KINDNESS AND UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.

A Tribute to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Clarity Haynes

Gen also talked about the many notes s/he received from all over the world from young trans kids, who told he/r s/he was a role model for them. That made he/r profoundly happy.

A Tribute to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Akiko Hada

I met Genesis in 1980, while I was writing for a Japanese music magazine. He turned up one day on my doorstep, a bunch of Throbbing Gristle albums and Industrial Records press releases under his arm, and his assistant Stan Bingo in tow.

A Tribute to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Leigha Mason

Genesis is the most generous person I have ever met. S/he was generous in every way—with he/r time, with he/r affection, with objects, with information. S/he always spoke to fans who approached he/r, s/he would use he/r platform to champion he/r lesser-known artist friends, s/he would give away things to a fault…

A Tribute to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Alan Russell

At Psychic TV’s Infinite Beat Tour in Vancouver, I was in the dressing room and almost ended up on stage with the band by accident. It was the first time I had actually seen Gen perform live and I was blown away—my old schoolmate screaming out self-composed lyrics to a thundering beat and to a packed audience.

A Tribute to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Ron Athey

This was an aspect of Gen that I treasured, they honored the lineage, the doorway, the elders, gateways, was one of my favorite parts of their process. I dove into David Medalla after reading Gen’s interview in the Dead Flowers catalog, there was always Burroughs love but a steering to Gysin.

A Tribute to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Jarrett Earnest

Everything Genesis did was dense with layers of intention and association, available to random chance and accumulating coincidence, so that it formed a holograph—one of he/r recurring descriptions of meaningful artifacts.

A Tribute to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Meena Ysanne

Changing, and choosing—two things I learned from Genesis, who guided me more than any other person I’ve known, whether near or far. Still does, because, I will all ways be able to draw on the place in my heart that s/he touched.

A Tribute to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Benjamin Tischer

Genesis on stage was a glorious thing. That voice and the interplay between the astute, the obscene, and the absurd glued one's attention like a fly to a trap. He/r renditions were utterly spellbinding. S/he was a master of intonation and timing. S/he controlled the word. S/he knew its power.

A Tribute to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Jane Ursula Harris

Gen was of course an icon, a cult music figure, a “cultural engineer,” the founder of TOPY, COUM Transmissions, Throbbing Gristle, pandrogyne, etc., all of which I’ve written about and documented elsewhere, but s/he was also a vulnerable human being like the rest of us, one whose generosity and courage as such is just as mythic to me as the life s/he lived in the public eye.

A Tribute to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Michael Fox

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.

A Tribute to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Douglas Rushkoff

Gen may have been the greatest enactor of anomaly in our lifetime. But no matter how much Genesis Breyer P-Orridge mutated over the decades, Gen’s kind, sweet, and vulnerable essence remained a constant living reminder that staying soft and playful no matter what, is the greatest possible threat to the status quo.

A Tribute to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Enok Ripley

Gen gave me that, a future that allowed for the fullness of myself, an unapologetically strange and compassionate creature capable of anything. Gen allowed me to see my power, and showed me that there is hope. That there is LovE.

A Tribute to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

James Birch

Years later, when Gen was keen to get back into art and exhibiting I gave he/r and Lady Jaye an exhibition at my gallery A22, in Clerkenwell, London, with old and new work including the BREYER P-ORRIDGE collaboration.

A Tribute to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Jordi Valls

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

A Tribute to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Marie Losier

I had never seen anyone like he/r and fell under the spell of her voice and unique sense of humor and melancholy. A week later, I was at a gallery opening in SoHo, one of those sardine-can spaces where you can barely walk and hardly breathe. Being relatively small, I got pressed into a corner where I inadvertently stepped on someone’s toes. I turned to apologize and there was Genesis smiling, talking with the Icelandic singer Björk, he/r gold-capped teeth glittering down over me.

A Tribute to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Paul Bee Hampshire

I first heard Genesis P-Orridge in the winter of 1979, when I was a young 17-year-old lad stuck in a small mining town in the north of England. A friend gave me a cassette tape of he/r band, Throbbing Gristle, and told me to play it alone in the dark, stuff like that mattered back then, so I felt compelled to comply.

A Tribute to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Robert Wilson

Genesis P-Orridge, Fly with the angels for now and forever. With love always.

A Tribute to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Susana Vico Valero

I can't really express in words everything I feel, felt and will feel for Gen. It doesn't matter if I write one or infinite lines with words that will surely fall short.

A Tribute to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge on he/r art

I have something here, and it’s not actually one line or one story but merely a series of strange collisions that one can either surrender to, and exploit the pleasure, or try and impose form and shape on something and end up frustrated, angry, and even bitter. I can tell you right now, I am not frustrated, I am not angry, and I am not bitter. I’ve had so much pleasure and this is the story of my pleasure.

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The Brooklyn Rail

APRIL 2020

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