Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, whose career in music, art, and writing pushed boundaries and challenged conventions, has died. She was 70 and passed today at her home in New York from leukemia at age 70.
The death was shared on Facebook by the artist’s manager, Ryan Martin, and contained statements from Genesis’s daughters Genesse and Caresse P-Orridge.
Genesis’s long public career started with the influential British rock bands Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV. From there, the career expanded into such areas as a fan club that asked for bodily fluid samples, and a surgical attempt to merge identifies with wife Jacqueline Mary Breyer into a being called a pandrogyne.
Born Neil Andrew Megson on Feb. 22, 1950, in Manchester, England, Genesis was the second child of two semi-professional actors. That served her well when she adopted the identity of Genesis P-Orridge, a child of the 1960s whose experiments with art, drugs and spiritual pursuits were on the cutting edge of the moment.
After attending art school, Genesis created a performance group, COUM Transmissions, whose 1976 exhibition at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts caused an uproar among the staid citizens with its use of porn, strippers and used tampons.
That collective evolved into Throbbing Gristle, an experimental band that is considered one of the originators of what’s become “industrial music.” Its performances again shocked the sensibilities, with Nazi imagery, mutilation and dead animals.
When that group ended, Genesis joined the psychedelic band Psychic TV. That lasted until 1991, at which time Genesis relocated to Kathmandu with her first wife, Paula, and daughters, Genesse and Caresse. They then moved to California, which embraced Orridge’s penchant for the unusual.
She met Jacqueline Breyer on a trip to New York, and after being injured in a fire at the home of producer Rick Rubin, the couple moved to New York in 1995. She adopted the persona of Lady Jaye, dying in 2007.