Former sex worker performing at 24-hour art marathon
Porn star turned performance artist Annie Sprinkle hopes her show in St. John's won't be as confrontational as a recent appearance in Norway.
"They had a Neo-Nazi spray paint a Jewish star on the window. I had the press just out of control and I had two anti-porn feminist groups protesting," the 54-year-old Jewish former sex worker says during an interview from her home in Boulder Creek, Calif.
Sprinkle says she's a lover not a hater and would rather not be a magnet for such protests.
"All I was doing was offering free sex advice on the street to people. I refused to say that I had a horrible experience in the sex industry and that pisses people off sometimes."
Sprinkle says she learned a lot of skills when she made her living as a prostitute. It was what she wanted to do with her life at the time, she says.
While many people think porn stars and prostitutes end up with tragic lives, Sprinkle feels she's proof that's not always the case.
"Some end up with a great relationship and with a happy fruitful life," she says.
Sprinkle holds a Ph.D. in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco.
She spent spent three decades researching and exploring sexuality and shares her experiences with others through film, photography and workshops.
For the past decade she has toured her one-woman theatre show internationally, recently appearing in Norway, Holland and Spain.
Her shows are provocative even though she doesn't set out to make them that way, she says.
Sprinkle may not have worn much during her early years making a living in the world's oldest profession. However, these days she wears many hats.
The sexologist, educator, AIDS activist, author and performer, she will bring her show to the Rock House on George Street on August 13.
The event launches the Eastern Edge Art Gallery's 9th annual 24-Hour Art Marathon.
The marathon brings together over 100 artists who spend 24 hours creating artwork which is then auctioned off with half of the proceeds returned to the artists.
Sprinkle describes herself as a sex worker who bridged into the art world.
"I did work about sex for many years, now I'm doing work about love," she says.
When asked about the difference between sex and love, Sprinkle says sex is easier while love is more challenging.
"People think of Hallmark cards or something very soft when they think of love. When we go through difficult times and people are there giving us love, it makes it so much easier. And actually if you're a recipient, if you let love in, if you allow it to happen it's pretty sexy. It can be very physical and powerful and moving and ecstatic."
Sprinkle's show is sexually explicit and is intended for an adult audience.
"It's feminist. It's a little kinky, a little spiritual, a little bit funny, a little bit sexy, a little bit sad," she says.
The art festival will also include performances by buskers and art workshops for children and adults as well as film screenings, poetry readings and an evening of musical performances.
After the kick-off at the Rock House, events continue on August 14 with eight local artists giving presentations about their most recent projects at an Artist Talk Cocktail Reception at Eastern Edge.
The marathon begins at noon on August 16 and continuing until noon on August 17.
On August 16 there will also be simultaneous live performances on the Nouvelle Orleans at Pier 7 and in the main gallery at Eastern Edge.
Sprinkle says she's excited about visiting Newfoundland and meeting other artists.
"I'm really looking forward to coming there, and hopefully there won't be too much controversy."
Tickets to the Annie Sprinkle show are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.
For more information on the marathon and arts festival contact the gallery at email@example.com or call (709) 739-1882.