Photographs by Ellen Jong
Interview with Annie Sprinkle
Photography / Women’s Studies / Full Bladders
11.25 x 7.25 inches
82 four-color photographs
In 1998, Ellen Jong was at a party on Canal Street in New York’s TriBeCa. As the bathroom line was too long, she headed to the street to take a leak. Jong squatted just behind some junked furniture on the curb of the sidewalk, and her pee trickled down like wet paint on a wall. Being a photographer, she had her Yashica T4 with her, and turned around to her suspect puddle to capture what she thought looked more like blood in a murder scene than pee. Since that fateful urination, Jong has captured her tracks through New York, Miami, Shanghai, and Mexico, the countryside, woodside, and seaside, under moonlight and opposite sunset.
Since then, Jong has amassed a sizeable body of work, a collection of images that fuse documentary, landscape, and fine art photography and portraiture into a uniquely personal statement. The work, exhibited at various galleries, is all gathered in Pees on Earth; a collection of images that are at once challenging, provocative, intriguing, courageous, amusing, and beautiful. These images capture not only Jong’s rebellious exuberance, but also offer a comment on what constitutes the personal and the political. Pees on Earth is a statement about the ownership of self, of sensuality, of humanity, and of womanhood—all expressed with beauty and a great deal of humor.
There’s a sigh of relief on every page of Pees on Earth. Jong’s photographs assert her place on the planet and, because we all share the act, they assert ours too. It is a manifesto for our collective existence, a cry for all sentient beings: “I am! I pee!”
Ellen Jong picked up her first camera in her senior year at Bronx High School of Science, in her hometown of New York City. Jong’s work has been published in Vogue, In Style, Surface, Anthem, and The Fader, and has been exhibited at Art Basel Miami Beach, the:artist:network, Mynt Ultra Lounge, Milk Studios, and Deitch Projects. Most recently, her artistic experiments in multi-media and interactive installation have appeared in the Scope Art Fair NY in 2005. Jong lives and works in New York City.
Annie Sprinkle is a prostitute/porn star turned performance artist/sexologist. She has passionately researched and explored sexuality in all of its glorious and inglorious forms for 30 years, and has shared her findings along the way by producing and starring in her own unique brand of sex films and photographic work, teaching workshops, and college lectures. She is also an internationally-acclaimed performance artist who tours one-woman shows about her life in sex. She was one of the pivotal players in the “sex-positive feminist movement” of the 1980s. She is the author of three books. Sprinkle is based in San Francisco, CA.