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I Am My Own Wife

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L-R: Genesis P-Orridge performs with Throbbing Gristle at London's Lyceum Theatre in 1980; P-Orridge with his childhood self.  

He tries to be matter-of-fact. “We have to go with what we have,” he says. “This is what she always wanted.” But he concedes it hasn’t been easy. “You have to have a lot more faith that what you’re doing is valid and that the person you trusted so deeply is still there,” says P-Orridge, his eyes watery. “It’s very hard. The bottom line is that we know she would continue. She wouldn’t stop because it was complicated.”

And, in fact, he hasn’t stopped. He’s scheduled his next surgery with Baker (he won’t reveal the details). He’s still making music with PTV3; they released an album called Mr. Alien Brain vs. The Skinwalkers last October. He’s creating new collages. A younger generation is embracing him, and he’s not one to disappoint. “Gen is a true living legend,” says the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner, who appeared on PTV3’s album Hell is Invisible … Heaven is Her/e. “I was over the moon when he asked me to play,” says Zinner. “Every sound we made felt pure and mischievous.”

The afternoon is growing late, and P-Orridge asks if I want to help walk his dog, Big Boy. He stands up to grab the leash, but then pauses, wanting to clarify his perspective. “I know it sounds weird,” he says gently. “We could have bought a house or something like that. But we’re artists. Artists do art. It’s not rational.”


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