Eric Heist & Genesis Breyer P-Orridge
The Galveston Artist Residency & Gallery is pleased to present Candy Factory, an exhibition featuring the collaborative work of Eric Heist and the late BREYER P-ORRIDGE. On display will be a selection of sequentially-ordered, vibrant, silkscreened gender-indeterminate details of bodies on square surfaces. It is the most comprehensive show to date.
Premiered at New York’s Team Gallery in the year 2000, the initial Candy Factory exhibition marked the first time that Genesis P-Orridge, the legendary artist/musician/provocateur had presented work in a commercial gallery. Her performance art troupe COUM Transmissions had already had their first retrospective at the ICA (London) as far back as 1976, but her work was mostly performance, mailart or music – all very hard to commodify.
The Candy Factory work was a partnership between P-Orridge and the artist Eric Heist. At the time, Heist was creating sugar-coated silkscreen paintings of body-related imagery. P-Orridge was making photographic images of non-gender-specific bodies. Heist was also running the non-profit organization Momenta Art, and both were interested in incorporating context through images that suggested the elision of wealth and poverty, transcending class by moving away from identity distinctions.
The result is Candy Factory: pop-infused images and bodies without sex, age, class or race, a symbol for the one as well as the multiple. The name for the project combines Candy Darling and Factory Records, an overlapping of art and music.
In 2018, P-Orridge — now known as BREYER P-ORRIDGE and embodying an ongoing collaboration with her better half, the late Lady Jaye — and Heist began working together again, concentrating on a set of Polaroid images taken in a ritualistic manner of an unidentified individual or individuals. Brighter, more pop, more abstract, these new works used a simple system. A set of thirty 22-inch square silkscreen on canvas panel works were derived from a Polaroid image of non-distinct nudity. A base color of the six primary and secondary colors (red, violet, blue, green, yellow, orange) was overlaid with the image using the five remaining colors in a sequence through the color wheel. In this manner, process art overlapped with performative ritual. Other sets of sequential color and the rotation of imagery continue suggestions of cyclical movement and continuity within the attraction of bodies to one another. The images and works in this installation all simultaneously exist independently and collectively.
In final text messages between Genesis and Heist, s/he texted in her unique manner: “Spending 5 Daze in the Horse Pistol – Butter Coum to the Nest” (spending five days in the hospital but come to my apartment afterwards). The continuity of Candy Factory – rotating, changing, moving from red to yellow to blue and back again – follows the continuity of existence itself, reassuring that death is not an end.
Along with displaying the Candy Factory works, The GAR gallery will also be screening BREYER P-ORRIDGE’s Pandrogeny Manifesto in the small gallery.
Eric Heist (b. 1962) is an artist who works in multiple media imaging the complexities of power, time and socio-political contradictions. Recent solo or two-person exhibitions include Kanal-Centre Pompidou (Brussels); Field Projects (New York); Galveston Artist Residency (Galveston, TX); Foundations, Schroeder Romero/Shredder (New York). His work has been included in exhibitions at Participant, Inc., Max Protetch, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, White Columns, Roebling Hall, NY, Elizabeth Vallaix Gallery, Paris and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, amongst others. He is a founder and director of Momenta Art since 1986, a not-for-profit exhibition organization. His work has been reviewed by Holland Cotter and Roberta Smith of the New York Times, William Powhida in The Brooklyn Rail, and Christian Viveros-Fauné in Art in America, among others. He received a Pollock Krasner Award in 2020.
Genesis BREYER P-ORRIDGE (Manchester, England, 1950—2020) was a legendary singer-songwriter, musician, writer, occultist, cultural engineer, and visual artist. P-Orridge rose to notoriety as the founder of the COUM Transmissions art collective, which operated in Britain from 1969 to 1976. P-Orridge co-founded and fronted the pioneering industrial band Throbbing Gristle and the experimental multi-media outfit Psychic TV, paralleled by P-Orridge’s co-founding of the communal network Temple ov Psychick Youth. In 1993, P-Orridge and partner Lady Jaye embarked on the Pandrogeny Project, a living art concept that blended physical and psychological mediums testing gender constructs and creating the unified BREYER P-ORRIDGE. The archives of Genesis P-Orridge were acquired for the permanent collection of London’s Tate Britain in 2010. Institutional solo exhibitions include ICA, London; The Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Summerhall, Edinburgh; The Rubin Museum, New York; KANAL-Centre Pompidou, Brussels.
The GAR Gallery would also like to give our thanks to Benjamin Tischer of New Discretions for his help and support in putting this show together.
Candy Factory will have an opening reception in the GAR gallery on Saturday, November 26th beginning with a gallery talk with Eric Heist and Benjamin Tischer at 6pm.
The show will be on view from November 26th, 2022 – February 4th, 2023.