For the last fifty years, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge has been questioning the meaning and substance of identity through artistic endeavors, willful reincarnation, and physical shapeshifting. Try to Altar Everything, a selection of paintings, sculptures, and installations, will explore the ways that Hindu mythology and Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley have influenced the artist and h/er work.
Both Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and Nepal itself have long shirked the confines of “either/or.” Hybrid traditions are a fixture of life and culture in Nepal, as people may even identify as Hindu and Buddhist at the same time. Genesis, along with h/er late wife Lady Jaye, underwent physical alterations to create an elective and creative gender identity through their practice of Pandrogeny. The idea of identifying as both sides of a categorical option resonates with Nepalese approaches to identity and religion, as well as with Breyer P-Orridge’s own artistic practice, grounded in devotion and ritual.
Incorporating new works produced in Nepal, Try to Altar Everything will also give visitors opportunities to personally interact with the artist and engage with the provocative themes of self-expression and devotion.
Curated by Beth Citron, Try to Altar Every Thing is a new, site-specific artwork by Genesis Breyer P-Orridge that incorporates small personal offerings from visitors. These objects will be arranged and rearranged throughout the gallery by the artist for the length of the exhibition. The installation enacts the concepts of devotion, exchange, and community that are at the heart of the artist’s multidisciplinary practice. Breyer P-Orridge invites visitors to participate in the ongoing creation of the piece by bringing offerings in exchange for a limited edition of one thousand hand-crafted “psychic cross” pendants designed by the artist and produced in Kathmandu, Nepal. During the exhibition the community of visitor participants and the installation will evolve. Breyer P-Orridge plans to rearrange, re-install, and add h/er own objects to the installation of visitor offerings. The continual evolution of this work speaks to the artist’s unending curiosity; h/er goal to alter everything, including expectations of how people and objects should look and act; and h/er interest in revealing that every person and thing can be made sacred.
The exchange begins opening night (March 11) from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. and will continue throughout the duration of the exhibition. The first one thousand participants will receive a “psychic cross” pendant in exchange for their offering, and these contributions will be included in the installation. Additional offerings will also be accepted and may be included in the installation at the discretion of the artist. See the restrictions below before you bring your offering to the admissions desk.
Please note, offerings must be no larger than two-by-three inches. The following materials will NOT be accepted: weapons, ammunitions, explosives, lighters, matches, drugs, food, liquids, knives, scissors, blades, candles, chemicals, human remains, ashes, bodily fluids, human by-products, body parts, teeth, live or dead animals, and organic materials such as plants, dirt, etc. All offerings will be accepted or declined at the discretion of the Rubin Museum staff and will not be returned.
In the early nineties, the industrial-rock pioneer Genesis P-Orridge, of the bands Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, came to New York, where he met and married a young dominatrix who called herself Lady Jaye. Their romantic and artistic partnership unfurled the remarkable range of their activity, in public and in private. The couple played music together, but their key project—which they named “Pandrogeny”—involved extensive plastic surgery that made them resemble each other (P-Orridge even got breast implants) Lady Jaye died in 2007.
GENESIS BREYER P-ORRIDGE “TRY TO ALTAR EVERYTHING ” MARCH 11 – AUGUST 1 THE RUBIN MUSEUM OF ART NEW YORK