|San Francisco, April 1994
Annie sprinkle invited us to her Post Post Porn Modernist one-person show last saturday. i saw it years ago when she did it at a n.y.c. strip theatre ... and i wrote a review of it which was published in Art Papers. in the review, i pretended i was just someone who had come to the show (in reality we were staying at her place, watched her rehearse the last ritual, and michael [LaBash] painted her vibrator). i could not do that now because she has put me into the show for my "famous tongue" ... and listed me in the program credit as one of her performance teachers ... which is very flattering because she is the best performance artist i have seen and her show is the best i have been to. i said this in the old review. but the ritual that is this show has become much deeper, much more human. annie very quickly shattered the limitations of a stage show, very quickly created an intimate community from all the people in the space. it is the community that really does the ritual, using annie's life as the pathway. the ritual never stops, not even during the "intermission" (annie stays on stage for people to have their picture taken with her bare breasts on their heads ... at $10 a pop). the show's last section, a very magically powerful ritual did not end, annie did not leave the stage, until way after the last audience member had left (i, as a performer, watched each person somehow decide it was time to go).
annie's messages are clear in the show ... sex and the body are good ... people do not have to be victims ... and the more happiness and pleasure you have, the more happiness and pleasure you are creating in/for the world.
unfortunately the new age goddess haunts the show just below the surface, producing a sublayer or a hidden message of separation and isolation which really runs in conflict with both annie's basic nature and the community that her show calls forth. the new age goddess is basically a corruption of the original goddess which is the yin principle which is within all of us no matter what our gender. the original ritual journey or task was to reunite the yin and yang principles into the original creative life force, and to apply, along this major journey, the yin principle for the tribal welfare. one of the powerful characteristic of the original goddess has always been an unlimited inclusiveness. this is also true of annie personally, and it radiates from her show. but both the original goddess and annie are being misused, distorted, by the forces of exclusion as an excuse and a justification of elitism, separatism, discrimination, fear, and isolation. these forces of exclusion are the main cause of today's world conflict.
one of the problems is "goddess" is being personalized, then given a gender. it is common today to hear women saying "i am a/the goddess". it has the protection of being politically correct. but if we change the words to "i am a/the male god", or "i am a/the white god", or "i am an/the american god", the fascistic dangers of this kind of logic become more obvious. moreover, the new age goddess has more to do with mother mary than the original goddess. it isolates women once again high upon the pedestal.
annie's story is one of self-discovery ... both her personal self and our collective self. her method is to isolate and define aspects of herself, give each a name and a personality, and then live each to the hilt. so far, she has discovered ellen, annie, and anya. in the past, annie has described anya as the goddess, which attracted the confusion. recently she has started describing anya as a sacred prostitute. although this term is also misleading ... created by one culture projecting its morality into the past onto another culture ... it is not gender-driven ... after all, annie introduced me to the audience as a sacred prostitute. what is really meant by the term is a cultural role of a magical channel between this and other realities by means of, among other techniques, expanded sex.
annie is only in the middle of her story. before it is all over, i think she will discover many more aspects within herself ... and will then combine all of the aspects together. i'm looking forward to that climax!