Annie Sprinkle Post Porn Modernist (1993)

Annie Sprinkle's Post Porn Modernist (1993) chronicles her careers as a sex worker, pro-sex activist, and visual artist. Sprinkle narrates a story about her transformation from Ellen Steinberg to Annie Sprinkle, an act that prompted her sexual revolution. In this process of becoming, she critiques patriarchal ideals of female sexuality and second-wave feminist anti-porn agendas. Furthermore, Sprinkle subverts the male gaze through erotic poses that bring her sexual pleasure. She provides a playful critique of the National Endowment for the Arts, alluding to the exhibition Carnival Knowledge (1984), which was reprimanded by the federal agency for its pornographic content. Sprinkle then discusses the labor politics of the sex work industry and her close relationships to clients, some of whom were disabled, lesbian, transgender, or gay men with HIV/AIDS. During the AIDS epidemic, she focused on developing new practices such as the breath orgasm—a technique created with Barbara Carrellas—which allowed people infected with HIV/AIDS to experience pleasure without having sexual intercourse. This shift in Sprinkle’s work prompted her transformation from Annie to Anya, a persona who embodies the sacred energy of ancient goddess prostitutes. Sprinkle’s Post Porn Modernist was intended to be part of Franklin Furnace’s “History of the Future” (1999) netcast on Pseudo Programs, Inc.’s The Performance Channel (www.channelp.com). However, the corporation went bankrupt during the height of the culture wars, leaving the performance footage dormant until being published in full by HIDVL in 2017.

Annie Sprinkle is a prostitute/porn star turned artist/sexologist. She explores sexuality through her unique brand of feminist sex films, writings, artworks, performances, and teachings. Sprinkle has long championed sex worker rights and health care, and was pivotal in the Sex Positive Feminist Movement of the 1980s. She received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City and was the first porn star to earn a PhD, which was awarded to her by the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. For many years, Sprinkle has collaborated with her long time partner, Elizabeth Stephens, an artist and professor at UCSC. Sprinkle and Stephens are active leaders of the Ecosex Movement, where they are committed to making environmental activism more sexy, fun, and diverse through artistic gestures.  www.anniesprinkle.org | www.sexecology.org

Media

Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2333.1/pg4f4t4g

Additional Info

  • Title: Post Porn Modernist
  • Holdings: photo gallery, video (HIDVL)
  • Duration: 01:38:03
  • Language: English
  • Date: 1993
  • Location: Highways Performance Space, Santa Monica, California, USA
  • Type-Format: performance art
  • Credits: Written and performed by Annie Sprinkle; Directed by Emilio Cubeiro