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Painful But Fabulous: The Life And Art Of Genesis P-Orridge [Paperback]

Genesis P-Orridge
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Oct. 1 2002
English wunderkind Genesis P-Orridge, the artist who founded Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, is a musician, an occultist, and a postmodern religious leader living in exile. In Painful but Fabulous, P-Orridge explicates his multiple identities and incarnations — from performance artist and creator of cyberfuturistic artworks to industrial music maker and icon of the body modification movement. Color and black-and-white photos are included.

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""A rare and extreme opportunity to read the extraordinary method, theory and insight into the genius of Genesis P-Orridge. So Please take advantage of this exotic rare creature since this breed of individuality and originality is only one of a kind."

About the Author

Genesis P-Orridge is the world-renowned artist and musician (over 250,000 albums sold) from Manchester. As founder of the controversial art group COUM Transmissions, the industrial bands Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV and Thee Majesty and the ironic cult religion Thee Temple Ov Psychic Youth, Genesis has reached an enormous audience and inspired countless contemporary acts, even those within the mainstream media such as Marilyn Manson. He also contributes frequently to magazines such as Penthouse and develops projects for the Sci Fi Channel.

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3.0 out of 5 stars the real 'st.jerome' would disapprove, but... May 14 2003
Format:Paperback
This book is purported elsewhere to include a vinyl 7" one side spoken word, the other several locked-grooves for mixing--The friend of mine that has that record said he REALLY digs it. I don't see details of the 7" in the 'product details' above, but... I'm told that it is supposed to be included. Otherwise, I generally think this is more for the die-hard fans of GPO/PTV than for the curious. The overall look and feel of the book is kind of lo-fi in the format of the Re:Search books, which is ok, because it makes this more affordable for its seekers and won't lose Soft Skull Press much money (or at least I hope not, bcs "they'rre grrite"), but ultimately the color illustrations are kind of lacking for something that's trying to present GPO as an accomplished artist, and this doesn't really acheive the presentation required of a proper art-monograph. (of course, this review doesn't meet the criteria of a proper review either, so forget me) die-hards will require this, and those interested in knowing the genesis ov Genesis P-Orridge should start with the Wreckers of Civilization: History of Coum and TG book which is much more exhuastively historical of Gen's earlier period, and ... well... perhaps I should go and review that one elsewhere. Oh yeah, I think Gen would want me to sign off with something like ASSUME POWER FOCUS, TAKE CARE & CONTROL!
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Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, eye and I-opening... July 14 2009
By Mark Nadja - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
--provided one is still capable of inspiration and cares to have eye or I opened. If so, this book will do the trick; it's hard to think of any serious artist being completely unaffected by the material here.

--generously illustrated with photographs of art, concerts, happenings, and GP Orridge in every conceivable guise, "Painful but Fabulous" is paired with text from a variety of authors to present an overview of the life and work of a multi-faceted, multi-talented performer and artist.

--Part biography, part critical theory, part artistic manifesto and magickal grimoire, "Painful but Fabulous" ultimately seeks to cover in one book all that has gone uncovered in the mainstream's general lack of appreciation for GP Orridge.

--Best known as the "face" of the groundbreaking industrial band, Throbbing Gristle, and later Psychic TV, GP Orridge is far less known as a poet/writer, occultist, cultural iconoclast, and graphic artist. This book seeks to redress that imbalance, putting the better-known musical work into context with the entire body of Orridge's considerable creative output.

--Here, too, are discussions (and pictorial representations) of Orridge's pioneering explorations into body modification and transgenderism, commenced long before such issues became, if not commonplace, not entirely alien pursuits to civilized society suggestive of outright insanity.

--Orridge shocked, offended, and influenced many during the heyday of Throbbing Gristle and confrontational performance art, and continues to do so, albeit in a far more behind-the-scenes fashion today.

--Organized, in part, by Orridge, including a short essay and a couple of interviews, "Painful but Fabulous" is a record of an extraordinary personage who turned a personal life into a public artwork--and made no compromises. As a result, the art has great integrity and power, and has received little compensation and less regard.

--Orridge stands as a kind of modern-day Artaud: a boundary-breaking artist who took art not only seriously, but as a sacred calling that required blood and sacrifice, and nothing less than one's entire life. Such artists are usually not well-rewarded in their own lifetimes, and sometimes not even after their lives are over. They remain too far outside the ability of the culture to commodify their efforts. Orridge is and may well always remain, in that regard, especially in the magickal underpinning of his artistic output, an artist's artist.

--A book for the primitive, but not the prude; for the cultured but not the polite, "Painful but Fabulous" records a life in art that was no doubt painful to live, but, when all is said and done, fabulous. And fabulous is this book which attempts to capture that uniquely engaged life between its covers.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book on Gen's life, art and influences. Aug. 27 2008
By Amy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I got this book several years ago when it came out while on a Throbbing Gristle kick (what can I say? I'm a glutton for sonic punishment) and was not disappointed. Of course, this is a book about his art and his life, not his music. This may not be everyone's cup of tea; there is a vagina dentata bag, photos of performances involving used tampons, photographic documentation of Gen's transformation from a relatively-normal-looking dude to a man with breasts, weird doodles, pornographic postcards and Brian Jones worship (he died for our sins, don't you know?).

There are interviews, essays by other people, selected art exhibitions and actions, COUM stuff, an "erotic mailart" section, and a selected discography. The relation of his work to the works of William S Burroughs and Brion Gysin is discussed (also some portraits he took of them).

Douglas Rushkoff describes the impact of the cutup method on Gen (and on art in general) by telling us that he learned about Genesis while researching cutups. He knew of Burroughs and Gysin, "but who was this third man beign added to the mix?... Wasn't he the lead singer for UK industrial band Throbbing Gristle? Yes, but he was also the man who turned cut and paste from an experimental art form into an act of conscious defiance."

There is a decent amount of text here and photos on pretty much every page. Ocassionally it gets a bit wacky, but it's to be expected. Interesting photos, interviews, and essays, and in general a well-put-together book.
12 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars the real 'st.jerome' would disapprove, but... May 14 2003
By St. Jerome - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is purported elsewhere to include a vinyl 7" one side spoken word, the other several locked-grooves for mixing--The friend of mine that has that record said he REALLY digs it. I don't see details of the 7" in the 'product details' above, but... I'm told that it is supposed to be included. Otherwise, I generally think this is more for the die-hard fans of GPO/PTV than for the curious. The overall look and feel of the book is kind of lo-fi in the format of the Re:Search books, which is ok, because it makes this more affordable for its seekers and won't lose Soft Skull Press much money (or at least I hope not, bcs "they'rre grrite"), but ultimately the color illustrations are kind of lacking for something that's trying to present GPO as an accomplished artist, and this doesn't really acheive the presentation required of a proper art-monograph. (of course, this review doesn't meet the criteria of a proper review either, so forget me) die-hards will require this, and those interested in knowing the genesis ov Genesis P-Orridge should start with the Wreckers of Civilization: History of Coum and TG book which is much more exhuastively historical of Gen's earlier period, and ... well... perhaps I should go and review that one elsewhere. Oh yeah, I think Gen would want me to sign off with something like ASSUME POWER FOCUS, TAKE CARE & CONTROL!
6 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Psychic Scum Go Home July 19 2009
By danger.fellini - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Poor baby Genesis P-Orridge. Does anyone even care about his oversized ego and what he claims to have achieved in his pathetic life ? If only he had something to say instead of repeating himself over and over again, Nothing of importance. In this book you won't read about his assaults on women and men who managed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, nor will you learn about how he committed perjury to make money from a lawsuit with record producer Rick Rubin. Nope, non of that in here because Gen thinks everything he does is "perfect". Now that he's devolved into a wifeless, overbreasted, drugged out, self indulgent, pathetic name dropper most people with half a brain can see through this idiot. Let's take up a collection for him, maybe he'll buy some rope and hang himself finally.
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