Sprinkle, Annie (1955—)

views updated

Sprinkle, Annie (1955—)

American performance artist Annie Sprinkle (born Ellen Steinberg) made her mark as one of the pre-eminent practitioners of the art form in the 1980s with her one-woman show "Post-Porn Modernist." Described in a British broadsheet newspaper in 1999 as "porn-queen-turned-new-age-sex-goddess," Sprinkle's onstage antics invoked the wrath of conservatives, who used her work, along with that of certain others, as a weapon for the argument to cut funding to the National Endowment for the Arts. Although allying her work to the feminist cause, she has also offended mainstream feminists. Her controversial exhibition, which aimed to demystify the female body and encourage sex as a spiritual act, included simulating oral sex, performing masturbation, and inviting audience members to inspect her cervix. Sprinkle began her career as a prostitute in a massage parlor and went on to act in over 200 adult films and videos throughout the 1970s and 1980s, in addition to serving as the editor of a pornographic magazine and contributing to many others.

—Geri Speace

Further Reading:

June, Andrea, and V. Vale. Angry Women. San Francisco, RE/SEARCH Publications, 1991.

Sprinkle, Annie. "Some of My Performances in Retrospect." Art Journal. December 22, 1997, 68.