Straying a little from his usual area of expertise, our colleague Uwe Schütte has published a small book on the life and artistic career of Neil Megson, better known as the extremist performance artist Genesis P-Orridge.
In the late 1960s he founded the performance group “COUM Transmissions” which later grew into the band “Throbbing Gristle” who are credited with inventing the industrial music genre. Their dissonant anti-music, played at ear-piercing noise levels, intended to question the role of entertainment in a post-Auschwitz world. Picking up on the cultural critique of Critical Theory, they disavowed all forms art or artistic activities that aim to cover up the ugliness and moral decay of modern existence.
Following the dissolution of “Throbbing Gristle”, P-Orridge founded his new band “Psychic TV”, which dabbled in esotericism, and he even founded a sect called “Temple of Psychic Youth” in the early 198os. It was shortly afterwards that “Psychic TV” first released a single and then an entire double album with the title GODSTAR as a tribute to the late Brian Jones, founding member of the Rolling Stones, who had prematurely died in mysterious circumstances in 1969, aged 27. P-Orridge had met Jones by chance in May 1966 in a film studio on Aston Road, just a stone’s throw away from Aston University.
Uwe’s book, which extends on a long essay written over ten years ago, traces the results this meeting had on P-Orridge and how it changed his life. More info on the book can be found in this article published by Uwe in the Austrian national paper WIENER ZEITUNG. The book was launched in Vienna on December 12 at the Künstlerhaus in Vienna and can now be ordered at the Der Konterfei website.