COUMING OF AGE.

14.

COUMING OF AGE.

Programme designed by Genesis P-Orridge for "COUMing of Age - Especially coumissioned and coumceived for the wonderful OVAL HOUSE THEATRE" (London: March 1974). Single sheet, printed on recto only in black on off-white paper. 29.5x20.8cm. Illustrated. Near Fine.

The programme sheet gives the subtitle of the work as "A Photograph in Exactly Seven Parts For Uncle Bill B", with the seven parts listed below, among them "Arctic Banana Gobble" and "Dogbreath Bleach". A panel to one side lists some of the cast members, including "Rev. Lelli Maull", "General Idea", John Lacey, and Hermine Demoriane, a French tightrope walker who had previously contributed an interview with David Medalla to International Times, and later worked with the Neo-Naturists, participated in Alternative Miss World, and acted in a play by John Maybury.

The programme notes conclude with COUM's familiar refrain: "Never forget that infamous and nasty COUM guarantee of disappointment sweetie."

In her autobiography, Cosey Fanni Tutti describes the show - the first COUM show to involve nudity - as "an odd collection of innocent, clichéd sexual fantasies and scenarios - but with twists" (Art Sex Music, p.148), while in "Wreckers of Civilisation", Simon Ford describes it as "the most conventionally theatrical performance of COUM's performing career" (Ford 4.9).

Tutti goes on to add that "We took the sugary-sweet image of a virgin-like girl on a swing revealing brief glimpses of her knickers as her skirt blew in the wind and presented me naked on a pale-pink swing hung centre stage from the theatre ceiling. That was still pretty 'sweet' until… as I was pushed higher and higher to send me above the audience, I peed through the heart-shaped hole we'd cut in the seat, releasing an arc of warm wetness as I swung back and forth, slowly coming to a dribbling standstill" (Art Sex Music, p.149). Afterwards, an impressed Peter Christopherson introduced himself to P-Orridge and Tutti and asked if he could take photographs of the show, thus initiating their long-lasting collaboration.

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