For over fifty years, since h/er earliest explorations of sound and performance with COUM Transmissions and Throbbing Gristle, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge has been a guiding light in underground art. Crossing through boundaries of body, religion, and life, h/er work culls inspiration from ancient wisdom (e.g. alchemy and shamanism) while pointing to a future of liberation, equality, and spiritual enlightenment.

It’s not surprising then that the Rubin—one of the most spiritual museum spaces in Manhattan (known for exhibiting works of the Himalayas and neighboring regions)—would house P-Orridge’s multimedia exhibit, Try To Altar Everything (on view until August 1st).

Almost everything in the exhibit revolves around P-Orridge’s relationship to h/er late wife, Lady Jaye, and their shared transition into a third gender—a shared identity, guided by the practice of Pandrogeny. (P-Orridge formerly identified as male.)

Pandrogeny, according to P-Orridge, is “the transcendence of this binary world and this illusory, polarized social system.” It echoes both Gnostic and Hindu concepts, and appropriately Try To Altar Everything is filled with both religious and occult symbology.


A glowing Psychick Cross, P-Orridge’s own design, hangs over the spiral staircase at the center of the floor. Flanking the top of the staircase are two illuminated, life-size light boxes showing the image of the artist’s nude body. The walls of the exhibition space are lined with capsuled reliquaries, left by guests who came to the opening reception.

Each collage and interactive sculpture feels like a symbol laden shrine. Works depicting sex, blood, taxidermy, and sacred objects are spliced together into hybrid forms, each telling a story of the artist’s life and echoing the themes of transformation and dissolved boundaries.


The exhibit is well worth visiting for all who are open to notions of changing identity and amorphism. I also recommend a visit to the nearby Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room, on the fourth floor, if you’ve not visited it already. (Alessandro Keegan)

Try To Altar Everything is on view from March 11- August 1st, 2016 at the Rubin Museum of Art, 150 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011.

(All photos for this post by Gillian Leigh Bowling.)