After feting William S. Burroughs, the great Genesis Breyer P-Orridge is appearing alongside another one of his heroes in a new exhibition.
The East Village musician and artist known for his influential stints with with subversive art collective Coum Transmissions, Industrial music pioneers Throbbing Gristle, and acid-house and psych-rock innovators Psychic TV will have his work shown alongside that of Pierre Molinier, the French symbolist and surrealist who shared P-Orridge’s obsessive dedication to gender-bending and self-documentation.
Molinier, a colleague of André Breton, was best known for his ’60s and ’70s photomontages in which he posed as a transvestite — sometimes in acts of auto-fellatio, suicide, or crucifixion — with all manner of masks, prosthetic limbs, stilettos, and dildos. Just like Ron Athey, P-Orridge was highly influenced by Molinier’s sexually subversive work — not to mention his outre persona (the self-declared “man without morals” claimed to have pleasured himself on his sister’s corpse and eventually shot himself in what’s been described as his final work). “His guerilla darkroom of desire exploded across my visual cortex and embedded its mercurial mandalas in mobius patterns of sensual shrapnel,” P-Orridge once said of the painter and photographer. “The visceral wounding of my aesthetic was orgasmic and permanent.” High praise indeed!
After his first encounter with Molinier, P-Orridge would go on to do some artistic gender-bending of his own, during his years-long quest to achieve twin-like “pandrogyny” with his wife Lady Jaye.
Now he and Molinier are coming together in a new exhibit at Lower East Side gallery Invisible Exports. The Sept. 5 opening reception should be quite a scene, but before you feast your eyes on the artwork, take heed. According to Genesis, “Pierre Molinier insists we face the impenetrable fact of our obliteration.” So, yeah.
“Breyer P-Orridge and Pierre Molinier,” Sept. 5 to Oct. 12 at Invisible Exports, 89 Eldridge St.; opening reception Sept. 5, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.