Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Lady Jaye RIP
Some great events going on as part of the celebrations to herald twenty five years of The Wire's existence. Various happenings included a celebration of Finnish psych folk and drone at Bush Hall that was punctuated by a blistering set from guitar and drums duo Pymathon. Then there was also an all-dayer at Cargo beginning at 5pm which saw Jackie O-Motherfucker headline at something like 11:30pm on a Sunday night, reduced to a trio because of illness, and ended with an argument with a member of the audience. It was that kind of day. Still, Jackie-O weren't bad for what it's worth, and earlier on the venue saw the spectre of some wonderfully strange acts - Birds of Delay, Polly Shang Kuan Band (above), The Sound Of The Exquisite Corpse, Axolotl - all of which produced some seriously out-there drone and improvised music. Then again, I could have done without Talibam!, a 'zany' duo with a terrible name and even worse music, and the even more comedic Putting On The Ritz playing in the bar area. Shame the gig at Shoreditch Town Hall - a venue with some amazing endless passageways and catacombs in it's basement, as Goodnight London discovered recently - with the Boredoms and Michael Gira was sold out.
The screening of the documentary about Genesis P-Orridge and his partner Lady Jaye at the Roxy Bar & Screen was of particular interest, though, given Throbbing Gristle's recent resurrection - a band hugely influential in their own right. The scenes of Mr P-Orridge (Neil Megson by birth) with his partner are strangely touching, especially given the recent sad news of Lady Jaye's passing due to stomach cancer. Always one to espouse the visual, interactive, and participatory side of art, P-Orridge's discussions on camera about the 'project'-like nature of his part sex-change - which involved breast implants in order to somehow 'fuse' or 'become one' with his partner to create a 'pandrogynous' synthesis entitled Genesis Breyer P-Orridge - are among the most interesting in the documentary, particularly when much of the doc follows him on tour with Psychic TV or Thee Majesty or whoever it is he's playing with. Whether Ms Jaye participated in reciprocal body modification to appear more, well, manly, is unclear.
I have to admit I tittered a bit at the scene in which P-Orridge elaborated on how the human race must embrace pandrogyny in order to advance to the next stage of human evolution. Daring transgressive artists living in New York and attending galleries such as P-Orridge is one thing, but whether Dave from Telford is willing to ascribe to this next step is another. I suppose it depends on whether you subscribe to the belief that humans have reached the limit of our evolution, or whether evolution is a constant, modifying force in our life which we simply don't notice. In any case, pandrogyny is essentially artificial, i.e. created synthetically by doctors in the surgery clinic.