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Jet Set Saturdays: Genesis Breyer P-Orridge at Invisible-Exports


Genesis Breyer P-Orridge. Untitled (Mail art to Robert Delford Brown), 1975. Mixed media. 5 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches

With just one day to go before it closes, and only a few hours before we hop on our imaginary charter jet back to Miami, we have decided to stop in on the Genesis Breyer P-Orridge show at Invisible-Exports. Home to the Miami Noir exhibition that most South Florida natives will remember, Invisible-Exports not only represents the ex-Throbbing Gristle front man/woman but has also shown work by other icons of the Anglo-American underground such as William S. Burroughs, which for a gallery with a roster of 9 artists that has only been open since September ain’t half bad!

In his current exhibition,30 Years of Being Cut UpP-Orridge provides a three decade retrospective of photomontage and Expanded Polaroids, which includes many works never exhibited before, as well as a sampling of his/her early Mail Art.

Gallery says: Genesis BREYER P-ORRIDGE is a true legend of the Anglo-American underground, an avant-garde anti-hero whose remarkable body of work reminds us that what is dangerous and what is important are never far apart—and that, when you believe something, artistic integrity demands that you live by it too. “30 Years of Being Cut Up” draws on collage work from throughout P-Orridge’s remarkable career, demonstrating both the breadth and scope of h/er engagement with a medium that has remained constant throughout h/er life. [This show] tests the limits of transgression and traces the tragic fate of the underground, proving again the expressive power and pervasive influence of those artists who take the world not as it comes to them — sensible, orthodox, predictable — but as they would like it to be.”

The show which marks a new emergent phase in the artist’s life reeks, like much of P-Orridge’s career, of catharsis through soul bearing. This time, however, one is struck with the sense of not only a life of excess through the duress of artistic integrity, but martyrdom so that we the public might know from P-Orridge’s taste of the edge where the limit of our own unanimous domesticity lies. However, as hilarious as this show is one would be mistaken to underestimate the effect of the recent passing of P-Orridge’s partner, Jaye Breyer (best known as Lady Jaye) made especially significant by the pair’s pursuit of pandrogyny for which they underwent painful surgical procedures in order to become not only gender-neutral human beings, but in an effort comparable to that of Michael Jackson with regard to his sister Janet (a reference that both P-Orridge and Jackson (RIP) would likely refute) to look like each other also.

After thirty years of never-before-seen existence and in the absence of his/her partner in life/art this exhibition, which we are so pleased to have caught, both charts and echoes a remarkable journey. On leaving the space it felt as though a weight had been lifted not only from our lives, but also from the imaginary one of P-Orridge that we treasure. In its place, a powerful realization that possibilities are truly endless once the body is no longer sacred twinned with an unexpected stirring of hopefulness took hold.

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This post was contributed by Thomas Hollingworth.

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Jet Set Saturdays: Genesis Breyer P-Orridge at Invisible-Exports