Genesis Breyer P-Orridge pioneered performance art with h/er group COUM Transmissions (1969–1976) and is considered the father of Industrial Music with h/er band Throbbing Gristle (1975– 981). In 1981, P-Orridge formed the influential band Psychic TV, and Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth (T.O.P.Y.) as a magical network to advance alternative social ideas.
In 1993, P-Orridge married Lady Jaye Breyer and the two commenced a series of surgeries to become a hybrid “pandrogyne” figure called BREYERP-ORRIDGE, a process documented in the acclaimed film The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye by Marie Losier (2011).
With the pandrogyne project, BREYER P-ORRIDGE began to use s/he, h/er, and first-person plural pronouns exclusively. While long considered a living legend in the music world, h/er work is only recently included in the larger narrative of art history and performance, a reconsideration signaled by the acquisition of h/er archives by the Tate and a full scale retrospective currently on view at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh (GENESIS P-ORRIDGE: S/HE IS HER/E up through September 15th).
This month the French publisher First Third Books will bring out an expansive collection of photographs drawn from a half century of Breyer P-Orridge’s life as art, edited by the artist Leigha Mason and music journalist Mark Paytress. Genesis Breyer P-Orridge sat down with Jarrett Earnest in h/er Lower East Side apartment to discuss the relationship between language, sex, power, and the future of art
Portrait of the artist. Pencil on paper by Phong Bui.