About this project
Friends and Fiends,
Thank you for visiting our Kickstarter page. Please help us make this documentary about Vodun a reality!! Vodun may be one of the last ways to view a fading authenticity and rawness in this world! - Hazel Hill McCarthy III
“In Benin, we believe we see so clearly a fabric of art, function, expanded consciousness, devotion and ecstatic revelation interwoven, indivisible from daily life and weaving a non-verbal Astory that might contain the greatest revelation ever told.“
- Genesis BREYER P-ORRIDGE, 2014
BIGHT OF THE TWIN is a feature-length documentary exploring Vodun (Voodoo, Voudou, Vodoun), one of the world's oldest and most misunderstood religions. Los Angeles based artist and filmmaker, Hazel Hill McCarthy III, documents Cultural Engineer Genesis Breyer P-Orridge on h/er journey to Ouidah, Benin in search of the truths and origins of Vodun.
SYNOPSIS: Cultural engineer, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge is serendipitously initiated into the ‘Twin Fetish’ - a practice within Vodun that honors twins. Through a series of ceremonies, Genesis reaffirms an eternal bond with h/er late wife and Pandrogyne partner, Lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge. This is a deeply interdimensional connection of alternative Western culture in tangent with ancient African ritual. In this story we begin to see the link between Pangrogyny and the 'Twin Fetish', an activation of a complete state, and in fact the true fundamentals of Vodun religion.
In Benin, which has the highest national average of twins per birth*, twins carry a sacred meaning. When one twin passes away, the living twin remembers its spirit by carrying around a small, carved replica of their dead brother or sister. The deceased twin is described as ‘having gone to the forest to look for wood’. This engaged and very public approach to grief and loss is in stark contrast to the closeted Victorian values that Western culture has been saddled with.
Transcending assumptions of what it means to be “gendered”, lead character, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, embodies a re-union and re-solution of male and female, seeking to perfect a hermaphroditic state through Pandrogyny. Genesis and Lady Jaye underwent a series of surgical procedures to become gender-neutral human beings that looked identical to one another. In 2007 Lady Jaye passed away and "dropped h/er body". Since that time Genesis has continued to represent the amalgam BREYER P-ORRIDGE in the material world while Lady Jaye represents the amalgam BREYER P-ORRIDGE in the immaterial world creating an ongoing inter-dimensional collaboration.
By exploring their non/all-gender we begin to see the link between Pangrogyny and the 'Twin Fetish'. As the French anthropologist, Michel Cartry, wrote in 1973, “Twins are a reminder and an incarnation of the mythical ideal. It is as though they are representatives of a state of ontological perfection, a state which the non-twins have completely lost. The first living creatures were couples of twins of opposite sexes. The loss of twin hood… is the price that man had to pay for a sin committed by one of the ancestors. But the birth of twins is a reminder of that happy condition, and that is why it is celebrated everywhere with joy".
* Jeroen Smits, Christiaan Monden. Twinning across the Developing World. PLoS ONE, 2011
ABOUT THE LEAD CHARACTER: Genesis BREYER P-ORRIDGE is an avant-garde anti-hero whose remarkable body of underground work reminds us that when you believe something, artistic integrity demands that you live by it too. Genesis is one of the most rigorous and relentless agents of the postwar Anglo-American vanguard, interrogating the meaning and substance of identity in a peerless half-century program of willful reincarnation and shape-shifting. Embracing the body as not simply the vessel but the site of the avant-garde impulse, BREYER P-ORRIDGE has reinvented and reintroduced h/erself again and again—as Fluxus pioneer, groundbreaking performance artist, inventor of industrial music, "wrecker of civilization", essayist and theoretician, Pandrogyne and, most recently, as Twin.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR: Born in Los Angeles, Hazel Hill McCarthy III is a multimedia artist and filmmaker. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and performance spaces in New York, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, London, Milan, Mexico City and Tapachula. Hazel was the co-director of the LA based gallery, Show Cave. She has collaborated with Genesis Breyer P-Orridge on many projects over the past 7 years, including Thee Psychick Bible (Feral House, 2009). Her video direction includes Thee Psychick Videos of early Psychic TV and TOPY (Temple ov Psychick Youth) from the P-Orridge archives. Hazel has also directed and curated the touring sister/brother video programs, Licker License and Gentle Jousting. Other notable video programing include Lazy Identity, Permanent Vacation, Spread Eagle, Quartz Qube, Moon Illusion, Future Heat and Summer Sizzlers. Her short films have screened at the Warhol Museum, the Barbican and the ICA. Hazel is looking forward to directing her first feature film, the documentary, Bight of the Twin.
ABOUT THE SOUNDTRACK: Recorded on location in Benin by DJMREX. Featuring Genesis and using a variety of modular synths, effects and in-the-field recording, to create a music, sound and lyrical topography.
ABOUT VODUN: The term Vodun from the Fon verbs vo “to rest” and dun “to draw water,” referencing the necessity to remain calm when facing whatever difficulties may lie in one’s path. (Suzanne Preston Blier, African Vodun. Art, Psychology, and Power, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1995, p. 39 and 40.)
Vodun means "spirit"; a divine essence that governs the Earth, a hierarchy that ranges in power from major deities governing the forces of nature and human society to the spirits of individual streams, trees, and rocks, as well as dozens of ethnic vodun, defenders of a certain clan, tribe, or nation.
Vodun has over 4 million followers throughout Benin and in 1996 it was recognized as a national religion.
KICKSTARTER PLEDGES GO TOWARD: Production costs to finish filming in September for the annual Twin Ceremonies for West African twins.
COWRIE SHELL BACKER - $5 Donation:
A link to a still image from the film + special thanks on the website.
GOZIN (Water Jar) BACKER - $15 Donation:
Personalized thank you note with an original still from the film and special thanks on the website.
BOCIO (Empowered Object) BACKER - $23 Donation:
Link to still image from the Twin Ceremony + special thanks on the website.
CHAMELEON BACKER - $60 Donation:
Signed limited edition Genesis Breyer P-Orridge "30 Years of Being Cut Up" Exhibition catalog. Full color, 128 pages, with hardcover, pull-out poster, and two postcards + special thanks on the website.
NEW CHAMELEON BACKER - $60 Donation:
Poster designed by artist Steven R. Gilmore. Created to commemorate the Genesis Breyer P-Orridge MuffWiggler Event at MOCA Los Angeles on July 17th 2014. It is signed by Steven R. Gilmore, Genesis, DJMREX, & Hazel Hill McCarthy III. The Poster is approximately 19" x 27".
ZOMATCHI (Fire) BACKER - $75 Donation:
7" of "Greyhounds of the Future" (Angry Love records PTV release) Signed by Genesis + special thanks in the film credits and on the website.
SATO (Drum) BACKER - $80 Donation:
Vinyl LP of "COUM Transmissions - Home Aged & The 18 Month Hope" (Dais Records)
Dε (Offering) BACKER - $123 Donation:
Limited edition movie poster + special thanks in the film credits and on the website.
OUIDAH BACKER - $160 Donation:
Limited edition book "Genesis Breyer P-Orridge" from FIRST THIRD BOOKS with over 350+ photographs from h/er personal archives included.
THE BIGHT BACKER - $300 Donation:
Thee Psychick Bible: A New Testameant (Paperback) and Limited Edition DVD signed with chop by Genesis + limited edition movie poster + special thanks in the film credits and on the website.
OUIDAH BACKER - DELUXE - $400 Donation:
Deluxe, signed limited edition book "Genesis Breyer P-Orridge" from FIRST THIRD BOOKS. The 323 page book is housed in a special PTV-inspired box, includes a poster of “intimate” Gen and Jaye Polaroids, a 96-page art catalogue and 3 original 7” singles specially recorded by Genesis and friends.
asεn (Memorial) BACKER - $400 Donation:
A fetish from the ceremony in a bound book with images from the film + signed, limited edition movie poster + special thanks in the film credits and on the website.
BOUBOU/BUBU BACKER - $500 Donation:
Authentic West African Boubou/Bubu dress or suit created for you by the official tailor of the heads of Vodun with material pattern picked by Genesis + limited edition movie poster + special thanks in the film credits and on the website.
(L to R: Hypolite Apovo, Emmanuel Sardou Gbedjinon)
GU (God of Metal) BACKER - $1,000 Donation:
MuffWiggler Store are providing a Harvestman Eurorack module used in the film signed by Genesis and DJMREX + signed limited edition movie poster + special thanks in the film credits and on the website.
FETISH BACKER - $2,000 Donation:
Collection of handpicked, ceremonial items from the film + signed limited edition movie poster + special thanks in the film credits and on the website.
TWIN BACKER - $6,000 Donation:
Original signed diptych collage sigil; a collaboration by Genesis and the Director for fundraising + limited edition movie poster + special thanks in the film credits and on the website.
DANGBE (Python) BACKER - $10,000
For support of $10,000 or more, Backers at this level will receive credit as a Executive Producer in the end credits of the final film and on IMDB + an authentic West African Boubou/Bubu dress or suit created for you by the official tailor of the heads of Vodun with material pattern picked by Genesis + limited edition movie poster.
Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Dah Gbedjinon, Adepts, Drew Denny, Douglas J. McCarthy, Lewis Teague Wright, Eric Nordhauser, Hypolite Apovo and Emmanuel Sardou Gbedjinon.
Tracks by COUM Transmissions, DJMREX and Atem Hein.
Risks and challenges
Although I am asking for $18,000, it's only part of what is needed to complete the film. I am also counting on word of mouth and community support to help build momentum and excitement about this project. Whether you can help by making a pledge or not, please spread the word about this campaign, I am endlessly grateful for your help and support.
The bulk of the risks and challenges of any project fall to its creator. I realize telling this story is a huge and sensitive undertaking, but I believe that my background and experience applying an intimate and experimental ethnographic approach will allow me to successfully and respectfully complete this project and present it to you all in 2015!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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