Genesis Breyer P-Orridge: CLOSER AS LOVE at Nina Johnson Gallery

Through Nov 23, 2019

A selection of polaroids by Genesis and Lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge, in the upstairs gallery. Breyer P-Orridge are lovers who fused art with daily life, eventually pursing a series of plastic surgeries to become identical twins—a plural self they’ve termed a “pandrogyne.” This is the first exhibition to focus exclusively on their unaltered polaroids, drawn from the artists’ personal archives.

Selected by Jarrett Earnest, each focuses on a extreme close-up of their touching, twinning and intertwining bodies. Distinctions are playfully and intentionally obscured, so that the images verge on abstractions of intimacy itself. Explicitly and intensely erotic, the images are the product of the most extreme experiments in art as life, illustrating one of the most beautiful love stories in art history. 

Genesis P-Orridge’s work exploring rituals of the body and sexuality began in England of the late 1960s with the collaborative artist group COUM Transmissions (1969-1976), and extended through the seminal Industrial bands Throbbing Gristle (1975-1981) and then Psychic TV (1981-1991). In Thee Grey Book (1981), one of the foundational texts for the experimental spiritual network Temple of Psychic Youth, P-Orridge described the importance of undoing social constructions around sex and gender: “Of all the things people do, at home and in private, usually with close friends, sex alone is subject to extraordinary interference and control from outside forces. This is no accident. They recognize its power. Even if only for a few moments, Individuals can release a power and energy from within that renders any system of society, or regime, meaningless. It is a liberator.”

Genesis P-Orridge was born in Manchester, England in 1950. He/r work has exhibited in museums and galleries across the globe, including the ICA (Philadelphia), The Tate Britain (London, UK); Deitch Projects (New York); The Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh, PA); The Serpentine Galleries (London, UK); MoMA P.S.1 (New York); Mass MOCA (North Adams, MA); Participant, Inc. (New York); INVISIBLE-EXPORTS (New York) among many others. Their archives are part of the Tate’s permanent collection. They are represented by New Discretions, New York.

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