Words: ES STAFF
Cosey Fanni Tutti and Genesis P-Orridge are set to give live performances to mark the radical art collective COUM Transmissions. As part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017, the events coincide with the COUM Transmissions retrospective from 3 February – 22 March.
The programme (which includes live and club performances, panel discussions and talks) celebrates the impact of COUM Transmissions, starting from its inception in 1969 to their end at the Prostitution retrospective at the ICA in October 1976.
There will be performances and appearances from original COUM members, as well as from artists that have been inspired by them.
“So much has changed for me and Hull since I left in 1973,” says Cosey. “I couldn’t get out quickly enough – and some who thought of me and COUM as distasteful, disruptive elements couldn’t wait for me to leave either. My own and COUM’s activities went up quite a few notches after Hull. Now I’ll be back and Hull is all ‘cultured up’, embracing COUM and recognising its influence and place in art history. I’m thrilled to be returning to my hometown to co-curate the first ever COUM exhibition… and in Humber Street Gallery, one of the former fruit warehouses that unwittingly fed me for free when I was penniless and hungry.”
“We left Hull in July 1973 and have never been back since,” explains Genesis P-Orridge. “We also burned all our journals from that era too. Leaving us with very few triggers to reviewing any memories. As the COUM collective we didn’t like the term ‘perform’, it implies choosing to pretend to be… we were more happy with “actions”, something you DO, spontaneous, energised, intuitive and a coumpulsion. For us “The none creation of art is as valid as creating it”. The thought alone is often enough. So walking those streets in Hull again in 2016 was like being a ghost searching for my SELF in a distant past. The strangest and most unexpected feeling we experienced was that everywhere, every building, seemed smaller than we recall. Just like accessing memories of events as a very young child things are often seen as far more large in scale, more overwhelming; for me visiting Hull had the opposite effect. When we checked our Hull memories against the present day, we discovered that everything felt like it had shrunk. Not just a little, but by a huge amount.”
For more information and tickets to the event, go to https://www.hull2017.co.uk/
You can watch the trailer for the COUM Transmissions retrospective below: