... are, or were, a performance art group that featured two of the founding members of Throbbing Gristle: Genesis P Orridge and Cosey Fanni Tutti. unlike certain performance artists - or at least, what most people consider performance artists to be like (i.e. Laurie Anderson), COUM were slightly different.


Genesis recalls: I used to do things like stick severed chicken's heads over my penis, and then try to masturbate them, whilst pouring maggots all over it...

In Los Angeles, in 1976, at the Isntitute of Contemporary Arts (LAICA), Cosey and I did a performance where I was naked, I drank a bottle of whiskey and stood on a lot of tacks. And then i gave myself enemas with blood, milk and urine, and then broke wind so a jet of blood milk and urine combined shot across the floor in front of Chris Burden and assorted visual artists. I then licked it off the floor, which was a not-clean concrete floor.

Then I got a 10-inch nail and tried to swallow it, which made me vomit. Then I licked the vomit off the floor and Cosey helped me lick the vomit off the floor. And she was naked and trying to sever her vagina to her navel with a razor blade-- well, she cut it from her vagina to her navel with a razor blade, and she injected blood into her vagina which then trickled out, and we sucked the blood from her vagina into a syringe and injected it into eggs painted black, which we then tried to eat. And we vomited again,

which we then used for enemas.

Then I needed to urinate, so I urinated into a large glass bottle and drank it all while it was still warm. (This was all improvised.) And then we gradually crawled to each other, licking the floor clean.('cause we don't like to leave a mess, y'know; after all, it's not fair to insult an art gallery). Chris Burden, who's known for being outrageous, walked out with his girlfriend, saying, "This is not art, this is the most disgusting thing I've ever seen, and these people are sick."

In Amsterdam we did a performance in the red-light district. The people in the theater asked, "What kind of lighting do you want?" and we said, "Oh, just put on all the red lights." Then we played tapes of Charles Manson's LP, Lie, cut-up with soundtracks of trains going through thunderstorms, and we went through all all different kinds of fetishes. Sleazy cut his throat and had to kind of do a tourniquet on his throat, and Cosey and i did this thing of spitting at each other and then licking all the spit off, and then licking each other's genitals, and then having sexual intercourse while her hair was set on fire with candles. There was an audience of around 2,000 people.

And each day it got heavier, so that on Easter Sunday I was crucufied on a wooden cross, whipped with 2 bullwhips, covered in human vomit and chicken wings and chicken legs, while I had to hold burning torches - people in the audience could hear the skin burning on my hands. And then i urinated down Cosey's legs while she stuck a lighted candle up her vagina, so there were flames coming out of her vagina. Just ordinary everyday ways of avoiding the commercials on the television....