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Indepth Arts News:

"Genesis P-Orridge and Eric Heist: Candy Factory - Painting, Sculpture, Installation and Objects"
2001-04-07 until 2001-05-06
Centre of Attention
London, , UK United Kingdom

Candy Factory is a collaboration and joint work between the two artists: From Polaroids of intimate carnal acts, the artists create a variety of art objects which present desire as the impulse for interaction set against the framework of institutional structures. Candy Factory refers to both Candy Darling and the Factory, Warhol being an important figure in generating ideas for the project, particularly his ability to bring the contemporary world and a critique of commerce into artmaking, as well as his interest in androgyny to deconstruct desire.

Desire itself is presented as an addiction. It represents our search for something to break our habits and relieve boredom, which leads to the recognition that existence itself is a habit. Paintings are sugar-coated. Sugar represents that desire which drives us to continue.

Paintings and sculptural objects are presented as self-conscious class signifiers, referring as much to the systems that create them as to their qualities as art objects. Paintings which appear at first to be abstractions reveal themselves upon closer inspection to be made up of silk-screened dildo straps, sculptures which appear to be pure white minimalist sculptures reveal themselves to be sugar-coated end tables. There are museum gift shop items like t-shirts and coffee mugs bearing the candy factory official souvenir stamp and ambiguous yet explicit images from the Polaroids. Desire is presented as a necessity to human survival transcending issues of economy and class.

The carnal is the divine brought down, momentarily, to our earth and our bodies. As we become addicted, we repeat the most satisfying fragments and methods trying to bond our self more permanently to the other. Consumption is implicitly insatiable. Production lies upon the impossibility to fulfill desires and appetites.

The works respond to the idea that the erotic is an escape from the real world. Desire can also be seen as utilitarian or political. It can be used to deconstruct institutional structures (Gift shop, homeless sex, bourgeois mirror). The satisfaction of desire does not represent escape or freedom from limitations, but represents limitation itself because we cannot escape desire. The mistaken idea that it does represent freedom leads to a vulnerability to images of desire which are used to direct our actions, as in the case of advertisements, which exploit images of desire.

The work refers to a fear of interaction contrasting with a fear of isolation, the two of which together drive us to exist. The ultimate symbol for social interaction, which places a referent index for all human interactive activity, is the orgy. We fear and desire the orgy most of all because it delimits our boundaries. We are no longer individuals, but become lost in the crowd, what we may consider personal to a sacred degree becomes public as we become a part of the public.

Genesis P-Orridge is a performance artist, musician and visual artist whose career has spanned 30 years. He conceived and founded the seminal British performance art group Coum Transmissions, became a member of Throbbing Gristle in 1975, of Psychic TV in 1981, and now of spoken word/ambient theatre group Thee Majesty which performed at the Royal Festival Hall in 1999. He has released more than 200 CDs of experiments in music to date. He has worked and collaborated with William S. Burroughs, Brion Gysin, Derek Jarman and Dr Timothy Leary amongst others. The Centre of Attention's Candy Factory exhibition is Genesis P-Orridge's return to a London gallery for the first time since Coum's infamous Prostitution show at the ICA in 1976, 25 years ago.

Eric Heist is a New York based artist. His work has been shown extensively in the United States including P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Brooklyn Museum of Art and numerous New York galleries including Feed, Thread Waxing Space, PS122 and the Team Gallery. He directs and curates Momenta Art, the pioneering Brooklyn gallery.

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