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Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Photo by Marie Losier, www.marielosier.net.

As a member of seminal band Throbbing Gristle, the legendary, transgressive counter-cultural icon Genesis Breyer P-Orridge infused the nascent industrial genre with shock tactics, performance art and subversive, hybrid aesthetics. Together with bands / “fellowships” Psychic TV and Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth, she also experimented with magick, occultism and religious cultism.

In 1993, Genesis P-Orridge began a lifelong project of becoming a pandrogynous couple with with Lady Jaye Breyer, aiming to ultimately represent both male and female in each of their bodies. The couple underwent numerous cosmetic, surgical and medical treatments in order to approximate one another and break down gender barriers. Lady Jaye’s untimely death in 2007 triggered a long cycle of grief for her partner. “Bight of the Twin,” a film created by Hazel Hill McCarthy III, documents McCarthy and P-Orridge’s trip to Benin to explore the origins of the ancient Vodoun (Voodoo) religion. The journey’s focus changed dramatically when, in the process of their research, P-Orridge was “serendipitously initiated” into an ancient ritual known as the “twin fetish.” This practice, which seeks to activate and connect the spirit of a dead twin with the living twin, was applied to P-Orridge’s situation of grief and in turn held the promise of reconnecting her with Breyer’s spirit. The experience was a profoundly emotional one for P-Orridge, documented in the film as a “path..both brutal and loving” and a battle with “the hardship, grief and pitfalls of devoting one’s life to art and love in such a drastic way.” As McCarthy observes, the project, while seeking to publicly demystify and explain voodoo practices, is simultaneously an act of voodoo in itself in the sense that it is “an object activated by creation.” McCarthy will be at CTM 2017 to present her film in person and for a discussion with P-Orridge.

On the same evening, Genesis P-Orridge will give a concert together with Aaron Dilloway from the trip metal band Wolf Eyes.

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