Ellen Jong

Ellen Jong: Pees on Earth

Excerpt from a conversation between Ellen Jong and Annie Sprinkle:

EJ: Do you think there’s expression in pornography?

AS: A friend of mine calls it “by the people for the people.” It’s creative and people are expressive but there’s highbrow and there’s lowbrow. Porn is like folk art.

EJ: Wow, folk art . . . I can relate to this idea. My pee photographs come from instinct with no pretense. I was shooting everything around me including my own body, and of an act I was already doing several times a day. After shooting them more and more, they got better and better—using my own arm’s distance from my body like a tripod with a third eye. The bathroom is one of my most private places. I took down my bathroom walls and brought my sanctuary outdoors. What is your sanctuary?

AS: I’ve always loved floating in water. They don’t call me Sprinkle for nothing. The bathtub is certainly one of my sanctuaries. But I grew up in Los Angeles with a swimming pool in my backyard. I was happy in the pool. And I admit, I peed in the pool. Yes, the bathroom is a special place.

EJ: Have you ever peed in public, in the street?

AS: Hasn’t everyone? Often! I usually wear dresses without panties, so if I have to pee really badly, I can squat on a lawn with the dress covering my legs and I’ll go through my purse pretending like I’m looking for something—I could pee right in the middle of the lawn in front of City Hall and no one would have a clue. It’s fun and sometimes necessary.

From Ellen Jong’s Pees on Earth: