“Try to Altar Everything” an exhibition consisting of select paintings, sculptures, and installations by Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, exploring the ways that Hindu mythology and Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley have influenced the artist and h/er work, opens on Friday March 11th at the Rubin Museum in New York City and is on view through Monday August 1st.
For nearly half a century Genesis Breyer P-Orridge has been questioning the meaning and substance of identity through artistic endeavors, willful reincarnation, and physical shapeshifting. Both Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and Nepal itself have long shirked the confines of “either/or.” Hybrid traditions are a fixture of life and culture in Nepal, as people may even identify as Hindu and Buddhist at the same time.
Genesis, along with h/er late wife Lady Jaye, underwent physical alterations to create an elective and creative gender identity through their practice of Pandrogeny. The idea of identifying as both sides of a categorical option resonates with Nepalese approaches to identity and religion, as well as with Breyer P-Orridge’s own artistic practice, grounded in devotion and ritual.
Incorporating new works produced in Nepal, Try to Altar Everything will also give visitors opportunities to personally interact with the artist and engage with the provocative themes of self-expression and devotion.
Try to Altar Every Thing is a new, site-specific artwork by Genesis Breyer P-Orridge that incorporates small personal offerings from visitors. These objects will be arranged and rearranged throughout the gallery by the artist for the length of the exhibition. The installation enacts the concepts of devotion, exchange, and community that are at the heart of the artist’s multidisciplinary practice.
The exhibition is seriously ambitious, involving sculptural work by Genesis, in addition to paintings and installations consisting of objects taken straight from the artist’s own apartment. Genesis is hoping the artwork and the environment itself will convey a spiritual outlook on life that s/he acquired after first visiting Nepal. “When we think of Kathmandu, we think of magical things happening constantly,” s/he explained in an interview last week. Genesis recalled that on h/er first trip, nearly 30 years ago, a series of bizarre and seemingly cosmically attuned events transpired that had an enormous impact on h/er thinking and way of life. “There’s more in this universe, and what appears to be existence, than what we learn from the West,” Genesis said. “You have to reconsider your idea of reality, you just have to.”