Genesis P-Orridge Has Always Been a Provocateur of the Body. Now She’s at Its Mercy.

Genesis P-Orridge Has Always Been a Provocateur of the Body. Now She’s at Its Mercy.


On another afternoon in October, P-Orridge wore a T-shirt that read “Cult Leader.” She was recovering from pneumonia, preparing to travel to Europe for two concerts, the last two dates in an otherwise scrapped tour. After that, she said, she did not expect to tour again, because her health was too unpredictable.

And she was in love, with a woman she’d met in Granada a few years back.

“We certainly didn’t expect it, at our age,” she said. “What a beautiful surprise it was to be in love again. She’s 28. It’s ridiculous, but what can you do, man?”

In the last year, an old bandmate and girlfriend, known as Cosey Fanni Tutti, accused P-Orridge in a memoir of being physically and emotionally abusive. P-Orridge said she had not seen the book, but denied the allegations. “Whatever sells a book sells a book,” she said.

And she was busy, preparing two volumes of her notebooks from the 1960s and a graphic novel called “Man Into Wolf,” whose title comes from a 1948 book about sadism, masochism and werewolves. Museums, she said, were calling about new and old work.

“Derek Jarman said, ‘Gen, when they know you’ve got a terminal illness, they start liking what you do,’” she said, referring to the director and author. “‘You wait and see.’ And now people want the art in art exhibitions.”

If there is a next chapter, P-Orridge hopes it will be to form a collective community, with people sharing resources but having more privacy than in a commune. The ‘60s dream still drives her.



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