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tQ & COUM Hull City Of Culture News!
Luke Turner , November 24th, 2016 10:13

The Quietus is co-curating a series of events around the celebration of COUM Transmissions, featuring Genesis P-Orridge, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Anthony Child, Carter Tutti Void & more!

The Quietus is pleased to announce that we're involved with a series of events celebrating the work and legacy of the infamous, "fab & kinky" COUM Transmissions as part of Hull City Of Culture 2017. The events will coincide with the first retrospective of COUM Transmissions, happening at the new Humber Street Gallery from 3rd February to 22nd March. The Quietus' co-founder Luke Turner and former reviews ed. and Hull native Sophie Coletta have been working alongside Cosey Fanni Tutti and Cabinet gallery to curate events bookending the exhibition.

The live programme will feature performances and appearances from original COUM members, as well as subsequent generations of artists they have both directly and inadvertently inspired. These will include, on the opening night, the first public appearances in Hull by Cosey Fanni Tutti and Genesis P-Orridge since COUM departed for London in the early 1970s. In the Fruit venue, near to the original HoHo Funhouse and in the area where COUM members used to "scrudge" for free food, they will perform separate new works involving sound, visual materials and the spoken word. Watch the exhibition trailer below:

The rest of the programme will feature especially-commissioned works from Anthony Child (Surgeon), Hull collective SquareWaves, and Simon Fisher Turner working with tQ ed and former Hull resident John Doran. The final weekend sees Carter Tutti Void reactivating for a final performance, followed by a Sunday afternoon of sets from people who've emerged from Hull in more recent times, inspired by the legacy of COUM. There will also be a programme of talks including a panel moderated by Luke Turner featuring original COUM members, a discussion of collective operation in artistic practice, and Cosey Fanni Tutti reading from her forthcoming memoir Art Sex Music alongside North Yorkshire-born writer Adelle Stripe. For full programme details and dates please see below and for tickets please visit the Hull 2017 website.

Quietus co-founder Luke Turner says, "as our regular readers will well know, Throbbing Gristle are a core group for us - an inspiration as much as a favourite. We've long felt that what came before, the history of COUM Transmissions, is one of the greatest stories never told, and so, with our strong connections to the city, were delighted when Hull City Of Culture asked us to work on a programme of events to go alongside the the gallery exhibition. At The Quietus we always try to bring the generations together, and we've worked with Cosey and Hull to reflect this in the programming. It's been a real pleasure and privilege to speak to Cosey, Genesis and the other COUM members we've met about their work and practice in Hull during the late 60s and early 70s, from their experience of the fabric of the city to relationships with the Hells Angels and the local police. These were different times that we might have thought long gone - recent events suggest otherwise, and that there is much for us to learn from the attitude and tactics of COUM".   Cosey Fanni Tutti was born in Hull, and had this to say about her return and involvement in Hull City Of Culture below the photo:

"So much has changed for me and Hull since I left in 1973. 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.”

The Quietus recently took Genesis P-Orridge up to Hull for her first visit since s/he was forced to leave in the early 1970s. Here's a picture of Gen with the statue of Philip Larkin at Hull station (Larkin presented Gen with a poetry award at Hull university)

Genesis says, "We left Hull in July 1973 and have never been back since. 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."

COUM Celebrations live programme

03-02-17: Genesis P-Orridge, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Quietus DJs
FRüIT, 62-63 Humber St, Hull HU1 1TU

The opening night of the COUM live programme will see the first public appearances of Cosey Fanni Tutti and Genesis P-Orridge in the city of Hull since they left in difficult circumstances in the early 70s. Taking place in Fruit, a venue that was once one of the dockside fruit warehouses where they "scrudged" for food to survive, the COUM founders will individually conduct distinct new works that draw upon their experiences and recollections of COUM's years of activity. Using sound, imagery and the human voice Cosey Fanni Tutti and Genesis P-Orridge will separately further the influence and inspiring legacy they birthed four decades ago in works that emphasise COUM as an active energy.

04-02-17: Panels, Simon Fisher Turner & John Doran, SquareWaves
FRüIT, 62-63 Humber St, Hull HU1 1TU

Panel discussions featuring Cosey Fanni Tutti, Genesis P-Orridge, John Lacey, Spydeee Gasmantell, Foxtrot Echo, Luke Turner, Anne Hilde Neset, Paul Buck, Dan Fox and Ghislaine Leung

The first panel will provide a history and context to COUM Transmissions, and will feature a selection of original members in a discussion moderated by Luke Turner of The Quietus. The second will feature a line-up of writers and cultural commentators who will look more broadly at the influence of COUM’s methodology and practice, looking beyond their work and at how contemporary art collectives function today. Alongside these panels The Quietus editor John Doran, who spent years in Hull in the 90s working in some of the same factories as some COUM members, will be performing a piece based on personal and collected industrial memories of the city alongside musician Simon Fisher Turner. Hull’s own contemporary improvisational collective Squarewaves will be closing the day with a live set. An afterparty on Saturday 4th February will see Richard D. Clouston's Cosey Club take up residence – venue to be announced.

17-03-17: Art Sex Music
Humber Street Gallery

Cosey Fanni Tutti will be reading from her forthcoming autobiography, Art Sex Music at the Humber Street Gallery, along with Adelle Stripe, reading from her new novel. Cosey's reading will be followed by a Q&A with Lee Brackstone from Faber & Faber before Cosey is joined by Andrew Wheatley of Cabinet.


18-03-17: Carter Tutti Void, Anthony Child (Surgeon), Quietus DJs
FRüIT, 62-63 Humber St, Hull HU1 1TU

The closing events in March 2017 explore the legacy of COUM’s work in Hull, looking to the cultural landscape post-COUM and beyond. Anthony Child (aka Surgeon) will perform at FRüIT on Saturday 18 March with a specially commissioned live COUM-influenced ambient set. Carter Tutti Void, the cross-generational trio of Cosey Fanni Tutti, Chris Carter and Nik Void of Factory Floor, will headline. This will be a reconvening of a group who have provided an exhilarating, visceral antithesis to contemporary cultural and social monotone.

19-03-17: Kiran Sande, Alex Wilson, Sophie Coletta
The Polar Bear, 229 Spring Bank, Hull HU3

Closing proceedings at The Polar Bear on Spring Bank on Sunday 19 March will be a free showcase of Hull-inspired sets from some of the city’s underground exports; cultural innovators who grew up in the area and can just about still recall a youth spent loitering on Queen’s Gardens and mainlining toxic green Spiders cocktails.

Heading up the bill will be Kiran Sande of Blackest Ever Black, an underground record label that has been bringing sonically dark mischief to our ears since 2010, and whose mix CD-Rs ID Mud and Dream Theory In Haltemprice have touched upon Hull in more than name alone. Also appearing will be Alex Wilson, who co-runs Public Information, a label that has released a fascinating survey of electronics from the last seven decades, and who will also be presenting a paper entitled: Thee Fabulous Mutations: Film and Video in Yorkshire after COUM in Hull as part of a separate Hull 2017 event. They’ll be joined by the Quietus’ Sophie Coletta, who, after spending many teenage years staring longingly down the mouth of the Humber, fled and returned to Hull’s clutches multiple times in the 2000s.