Deep Inside Annie Sprinkle 198213
the first part of the film is concerned with sprinkle’s relationship to the world of porn, which she addresses honestly and in a funny, light-hearted manner. we see her first in her youth, when she is not only the sexual partner of her older half-brother and partner in many escapades, but the young girl who was also the “little sister” of the other boy.
this transition to performance art is the focus of the remainder of the film. in one of the more interesting sequences, we see annie and her friends working for a camera at the first birth control clinic, and performing for the first time on camera, not only in person, but also in a small video she makes. we see her in a number of other performance art venues, and talk with her about her inspiration for the performance of mock work. in the second part of the film we see her performing mock work as a work for art, and then turning her attention to her relationship with the mock work and her desire to see it as a system for living.
the film also touches on other topics related to the performance of mock work such as her sexual education, her relationship with love, women’s sexuality, and her fascination with the future. sprinkle seems to have a unique relationship to porn, and this is clearly a part of her life that she takes seriously. she has no interest in the act of sex, but her fascination with sex, and her willingness to discuss it openly with us, makes this an interesting and revealing film. her work is by no means “pornography”, though she has a reputation for being “anti-porn” which is largely a result of the way the media has treated her and her work. the film is not meant to be a critique of sprinkle’s work, but an examination of the role of sexuality in the arts, and in the lives of people. sprinkle’s work is always open, always willing to evolve, and she can be found today as she has been for many years, traveling the world as a performer, educator, and pioneer of new arts.
in addition to her performance work, annie has also written many books, including milk and honey, suck on this, essential oil scents, and performing sex. she has been the subject of many exhibitions and writings, and been the subject of a whole scholarly career. she was one of the first women to be interviewed on the national public radio show on the media. she was the subject of a college course on theater, sexuality and sexual politics. she has lectured on masturbation, pornography, sex roles, the sexual revolution, as well as being an american icon on sexuality and an internationally acclaimed performance artist. her books are classics in the field. she has a website, , which is not only a source for her art, but also an extensive source of her life history, interviews, and lectures. this site is also a source of inspiration for her work and a place where she is continually adding more to it. the website is a testament to her years of sex work and activism, and the commitment she has to its radical transformation into post-porn. since the early days when she worked in pornography, annie has always been open about the impact of her work on the industry, and has strived to change it in favor of women.
her first solo work was body politic, a performance created for the the second coming series at the franklin furnace in new york in january 1984. it received great acclaim and even the attention of beverly cox, an art historian, who wrote a text about it in the new york times. body politic was created to showcase the personalities of the club 90 women in their street clothes, as they led, dressed, and undressed a stuffed doll. annie was the most recognized member of club 90, and her appearance at the franklin furnace with her doll created a legendary and iconic image. the performance was intended to challenge the stereotypes of women as passive objects in sexual situations, and instead brought attention to women as active participants. the second coming also introduced the concept of a porn star as a working artist, an identity which sprinkle embraced. her performance piece, carnival knowledge, in may 1984, explored the concept of working in the sex industry as a woman as the metaphor of the “whore of babylon,” and introduced her work to a broader audience.