When is your standard, spring-weekend tag sale more than just a tag sale? Well, perhaps when it’s helmed by Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, industrial music legend, mastermind of Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, and performance artist extraordinaire. Of course, P-Orridge’s version, which took place Saturday and Sunday afternoons, was housed at Famous Accountants gallery and, like most everything else in her remarkable life, was more about art than commerce.
When we walked into Famous Accountants, a tiny basement exhibition space on a residential block in remote Ridgewood, Queens, it resembled nothing more than the coolest vintage shop ever. Outlandish Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen garments hung from metal clothing racks, African art stood in the corners, and delightfully dirty books were everywhere.
The possessions up for sale were relics of P-Orridge’s marriage to Lady Jaye, who died in 2007, and the extreme body-modification art project that cemented their love for one another. Before her death, the pair underwent a series of cosmetic surgeries in an (eerily successful) attempt to look as much like each other as possible. These days, P-Orridge sports a pair of breasts and refers to herself as “s/he.” Each object up for sale came complete with its own P-Orridge-signed “Certificate of Provenance,” reminding its new owner that “the tag item… has, until its sale, been part of thee ‘PANDROGENY AS A WAY OF ART AND AS A WAY OF LIFE’ project co-created by Genesis and Lady Jaye under their collective form of ‘THIRD BEING’ most commonly known as ‘THEE PANDROGYNE.'”
We nearly missed P-Orridge entirely but, once s/he descended to the basement toward the end of our visit, overcame our starstruck muteness to listen to her reminisce about all the memory-saturated objects s/he was selling and ask her for a photo before making our exit. Click through the gallery below to see some of our favorite tag sale items and, of course, a shot of the art star herself.
Sometimes the tag is more interesting than the sale item.