People Watching: Valerie Solanas
Of the people who went in and out of the doors of The Factory she stands out perhaps most of all. Why? Because she is the woman who shot Andy Warhol. Which bring me neatly to how I heard of her — the film I Shot Andy Warhol. That film was a great portrayal of someone who felt she belonged within the world of the great artist who was briefly taken in and then cast aside (not an uncommon it seems in Warhol’s world). I think the other route a lot of people may take to her is via the album Holy Bible by The Manic Street Preachers which had a song called Of Walking Abortion which is named after a line from S.C.U.M Manifesto the text for which she is primarily known. She had ideas and she had written them down in an erudite if confrontational manner. The Society For Cutting Up Men was never going to be something that was going to go down well with many people and would people even be reading it if she hadn’t shot Warhol? Probably not. But because of her ideas, because of what she did, because of who she did it to, she is an endless source of fascination for me, and I know I am not the only one. Check the film, try and find a copy of the book — see something that might qualify as the antithesis to The Factory, something that nestled close to it’s breast like a viper.