The announcement copy begins: “In the grand tradition of artist couples such as John and Yoko, Alice B. and Gertrude, Sonny and Cher, John Cage and Merce Cunningham, Lucy and Ricky, Bjork and Matthew, Siegfried and Roy, now there’s BETH AND ANNIE!” That would be Elizabeth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle, who are premiering the West Coast production of their multimedia performance-art-theater extravaganza, Exposed: Experiments in Love, Sex, Death, and Art, which has been nominated for an Austin Critics Table Award for Best Touring Show.
When former porn star and performance artist Annie Sprinkle met professor and experimental artist Elizabeth Stephens, the story goes, they fell passionately in love and decided to make a commitment to explore, generate, and share their love through art. They named their project the Love Art Laboratory. Exposed, which plays Friday through Sunday, June 16 – 18, at CounterPULSE in San Francisco, and is part of that project, takes place in a “delightful” laboratory, and explores lesbian courtship, artificial insemination, queer weddings, breast cancer, art experiments, communion with community, etc, and features a live soundscape, a bevy of enthusiastic lab technicians, and opportunities to be human guinea pigs.
And here’s the WOW connection: Annie Sprinkle a) is the sister of David Steinberg, who composed the music for Inside Deep Throat and TransGeneration and b) worked in the ticket booth at a movie theater in Arizona showing Deep Throat during its original run. And if there were a c), it would be that we adore her. Watch a clip of her from the Inside Deep Throat DVD extras section, in which she talks about her affair with Deep Throat director Gerard Damiano.