The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Piss

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Helen Chadwick Piss Flowers, 1991-2
‘In Piss Flowers, Helen Chadwick and her male partner, David Notaries, urinated in the snow creating “piss holes”. A cast of these hollowed impressions resulted in set of 12 shiny white enabled bronzes resembling flowers.’

 

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Sophy Rickett Pissing Women, 1995
‘Some people saw the “Pissing Women” series as a satire of male behaviour, though many did not know the women were genuinely urinating. Sophy Rickett stated in the interview “this was something I did,” and the photographs were not manipulated.’

 

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Cassils Pissed, 2017
‘PISSED is a collection of all the liquid excreted by the artist in the 200 days following the Trump administration’s 2017 rollback of an Obama-era executive order allowing transgender students to use the bathroom matching their chosen gender identities.’

 

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Ultratech International Inc Ultra-Ever Dry, 2015
‘City officials in San Francisco have been testing out new “pee-proof” paint as a moral lesson to public urinators. 10 walls across the city have been painted with the special pee-resistant paint, in an attempt to combat a persistent public urination problem.

‘When a person pees against the paint the liquid doesn’t run down the wall: instead the urine sprays back at the offender, soaking his legs and shoes. A nightclub in Hamburg, Germany, who used the same hydrophobic paint on their club walls, inspired the director of public works in San Francisco to try the same tactic in the worst effected areas.

‘The paint is called Ultra-Ever Dry and its creators, Ultratech International Inc, claim it will repel most liquids. At a nano level, the Ultra-Ever Dry paint creates a barrier of air between the surface and the liquid, so droplets of liquid that are sprayed onto coated surfaces remain spherical and bounce back.’

 

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Tomokazu Matsuyama Holy Urine, 2915
acrylic and mixed media on canvas

 

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‘On Sunday, September 25, 2016, a visitor used urine to attack a series of framed images on display at the Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography in Moscow. Following senator Yelena Mizulina’s condemning of Jock Sturges’ exhibition “No Embarrassment” as “propaganda of paedophilia” (it included images of naked school-age girls), the exhibition was stormed by a group of men from Officers of Russia, a public organization which says it unites more than 100,000 veteran and active military officers. During their “occupation,” an unidentified man (who’d gained entry by claiming to be a journalist) sprayed what appeared to be urine from a plastic bottle; it was unclear whether the man was a member of the Officers or was acting on his own volition. In the wake of the incident, the gallery closed down the exhibition. The images themselves do not appear to have been damaged.’

 

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Jiandyin The Alchemy, 2019
‘In The Alchemy by Thai duo Jiandyin (Pornpilai and Jiradej Meemalai), a jadeite sphere rolls in a basin of human urine contaminated by methamphetamine, giving birth to a toxic water fountain.’

 

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Jean-Michel Basquiat Dealer’s dog, 1983
oilstick on paper

 

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Janine Antoni Conduit, 2009
‘To make Conduit, Janine Antoni began by creating a small, hollow copper sculpture in the shape of gargoyle that can be also used by a woman to urinate while standing; the accompanying photograph shows Antoni doing just that, from atop New York’s Chrysler Building. The concept for the work stems from Antoni’s interest in pirates. As a young girl in the Bahamas, she was fascinated by the notorious eighteenth-century pirate Anne Bonny, who disguised herself as a man. Bonny’s disguise included an apparatus that similarly allowed her to urinate while standing. Antoni originally intended to conduct her performance at a church, in reference to an early memory of a nun instructing her that her body was a temple, however, she was turned away from all the institutions she approached. In the end, the Chrysler Building was the perfect backdrop for her performance; the building’s facade features several gargoyles similar to the sculptural element of Conduit. As captured in the photograph, Antoni’s act and beard-like appearance of her windblown hair also reference the piratical act of walking the plank.’

 

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Sanja Pahoki Pissing, 2017
‘This exhibition is about pissing. It was conceived in response to the smell of urine in the alleyways of Melbourne. TCB Art Inc. is located in such a place. The downstairs entrance to the gallery sometimes reeks of piss, especially in summer in the stinking heat.

‘If art is a form of communication, my message is, ‘guys, please, don’t piss in public places, please, use a toilet, please.’

‘After seeing this art exhibition, if one person thinks twice when next they want to urinate in a public place, then this exhibition would have been a success and it would have been worth it. If it makes no difference to the pissing in public, especially around TCB Art Inc., then I have failed.’

 

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Misako & Rosen Untitled (Pee), 2021
‘“untitled (pee)” photographs participate in the tradition of street photography – documenting the territorial markings of neighborhood dogs. The images, however, may be re-contextualized through our learning that the “pee” is actually water, splashed by the artist in a further gesture towards a possible contemporary photography.’

 

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Sterling Ruby Monument to Urine, 2022
‘A large, bright, perfectly formed monochromatic droplet — monument to urine -—is positioned atop a matching Formica pedestal which is inscribed with initials denoting the tribute in question.’

 

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Jay Rechsteiner Three boys & two girls are torturing, beating disabled girl & making her drink urine, 2013
Acrylic on canvas

 

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Gavin Turk Piscio d’Artista, 2021
‘Gavin Turk has been collecting his urine for over two years and now it’s time to CAN and collect. Sealed in a bespoke aluminium CAN, specially screen printed with the text translations in 31 different languages, finished and hand signed with a foil seal. A limited edition body of work from the Artist’s own body for sale for its weight in sliver.’

 

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Julian Opie Peeing Boy, 2018
fountain

 

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Pieter Bruegel the Elder Pissing Against the Moon, 1559
oil on panel

 

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Sarah Schönfeld Hero’s Journey (Lamp), 2014
‘This month, Berghain celebrates its ten year anniversary. To commemorate the occasion, the club has organized an exhibition of artists, who, over the course of the club’s history, have worked with or contributed to its status as a Berlin icon. 2000 litres of Berghain piss forms the base material for Schönfeld’s piece “Hero’s Journey (Lamp)”. Over a period of ten weeks, club goers were invited to participate in the sculpture by contributing to its contents in the club’s toilets. The lamp itself is long and table-like, a transparent vitrine mounted on thick steel legs. Bright lights on either side shine directly into its contents – the collective archeology of thousands of partygoers. The urine has been treated with Phenonip, a chemical preservative used in the cosmetics industry, to prevent it from going rancid. The lamp stands in a dark corner of the exhibition space, glowing with a deep spectrum of yellow and red that dissipates into blackness as the liquid gradually absorbs the light.’

 

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‘Screen used Urine Transfer System bag from Universal Pictures “Apollo 13” starring Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, and Gary Sinise. This prop can also be seen in the HBO miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon” aboard the space capsule. From the collection of Eric Baker, creative lead of props and set dressing for the Wizarding World of Harry Pottery at Universal Studios, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney World and Disney Land, and 1990’s Nickelodeon prop master and fabricator.’

 

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Gilles Berquet The Pisser, 2000
silver gelatin print

 

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Eduardo Gil Urine Readings, 2012
‘For the project “Urine Readings”, new toys and crib mattresses were exchanged for old, stained mattresses. The used beds where collected from five different Orphanages around the greater Sao Paulo region. The mattresses were then shown to a diverse group of psychics rooted on Spiritism or Afro-Brazilian traditions known as Candomble. Each psychic would do a reading of a mattress and express his/her vision about the past, present or future of the child´s that slept on them. The audio recording of each reading can be heard from speakers installed in each mattress.’

 

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Tala Madani Cupid piss with goggles, 2011
Oil on linen

 

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David Hammons Pissed Off, 1981
‘Richard Serra was on a roll in NYC in 1980. In the run-up to the debut of Tilted Arc, he had two Cor-Ten sculptures installed in Tribeca: St John’s Rotary Arc was in the exit plaza of the Holland Tunnel, and T.W.U. was in front of the Franklin St. entrance for the IND subway. It was named for the Transport Workers Union, which had just gone on an 11-day strike as the sculpture was being installed.

‘By 1981, T.W.U. was looking a little beat, strewn with empties, and covered with wheatpasted flyers and graffiti. That’s when Dawoud Bey shot a series of photos, posted recently on Black Contemporary Art’s tumblr, of David Hammons pissing on the sculpture.

‘The sequence apparently begins with Hammons in khakis, Pumas, and a dashiki, with a matching shoulder bag, just standing there in the south-facing space of Serra’s sculpture. In the next photo, he’s turned away from the camera, doing his business. Then we see Hammons, talking with an NYPD officer, presenting papers, maybe a passport? The caption reads, “David Hammons receiving a citation from a police officer.” Which might have happened! But really, we don’t know.’

 

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Anne Noble Piss poles, 2008
‘A collection of images where Noble documented the locations of flagged areas visitors to Antarctica were permitted to urinate in the snow.’

 

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Anthony Goicolea Pisser, 1999
Colour cibachrome from a black and white negative, laminated, mounted on sintra

 

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Otto Muehl Piss Aktion, 1969
‘Muehl first performed his Piss Aktion, in which he stood naked and urinated into fellow actionist Gunter Brus’s mouth live on stage, at the Hamburg Film Festival in 1969, and it is remembered for its intentional and extreme violation of society’s norms. Piss Aktion is one of the most notorious demonstrations of art merging with life and breaking free of the walls of the art museum – a definition that was advocated by the Actionists and the other performance movements of the ’60s and ’70s (such as Happenings and Fluxus). In the obscene daring of Piss Aktion, Muehl was moving beyond what he referred to as the more ‘bourgeois’ Happenings into what he labeled ‘direct art’, in which he used bodily functions (such as urination) as tools for expressions of intense, pent-up energy and taboo-breaking.’

 

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Henrik Plenge Jakobsen White Love, 1994-95
‘This installation was the conclusion of a series of works dealing with body fluids. In this case, the fluids were put into different types of circuits, either in household mixers where the knifes of the mixers would cut the molecules of the blood into fragments, or in a closed circulation where a washing machine combined with an external tank washed urine, blood and semen over and over. This and other pieces dealing with body fluids in circulation was my attempt to create a representation of the body in which the fluids represent the body in an indefinite form, transformable by manipulation.’

 

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Gelitin Zapf de Pipi, 2005
‘The cold temperatures of Russian winter offered the chance to build our first museum ice sculpture. Some 200 thousand kidneys supported Gelatin by donating a watery solution of metabolic wastes (urine). After some weeks the “Zapf de Pipi” turned into a handsome 7 meter tall and one meter fat pipi amber colored iceicle. Visitors had to enter a traditional fairytale hut to access the iceicle, hanging outside into the courtyard of the Moscow Lenin Museum. This hut was mainly built to keep the cold temperatures outside the museum halls and to offer some privacy.’

 

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Tom Friedman Untitled (peeing figure), 2012
Stainless steel

 

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Kiki Smith Pee Body, 1992
Wax and 23 strands of glass beads

 

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Charles Demuth Three Sailors, 1930
‘This drawing was inspired by Charles Demuth’s participation in the nightlife of New York’s Greenwich Village during the early 20th century. Demuth kept it and other homoerotic watercolors private throughout his career, and almost never showed them publicly.’

 

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Michael Joo Yellow, Yellower, Yellowest, 1991
‘In his installation “Yellow, Yellower, Yellowest” Joo had three beakers containing urine, each marked with a name ― his own, Genghis Khan’s and Benedict Arnold’s. In the work he confronted the viewer’s conception of skin color by playing with the three names in relation to the density of the urine’s color. He marked his own name under “yellowest,” Genghis Kahn was allocated to “yellow” and Benedict Arnold, an American military traitor, was appended to “yellower.” The artist’s intent was to question how language affects our construction of racial identity.’

 

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Gilbert and George Piss on Piss, 1996
Hand dyed photograph

 

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Marcel Walldorf Petra, 2010
‘The life-size sculpture, made of silicone and metal, is of a woman in armored olive-green German riot control police uniform, wearing a sidearm. Most of her face is hidden behind a protective helmet and a black ski mask. She is squatting on her haunches, legs spread, pants and underwear pulled down, exposing her genitals to urinate. The sculpture contains a mechanism by which a liquid can be made to flow out of the sculpture’s genitals, but to avoid damaging the wood-tiled floor, a puddle of simulated urine made of gelatin was substituted for the sculpture’s exhibition in Dresden.’

 

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Ana Borralho & João Galante Art Piss (on money and politics), 2012
‘A group of people urinate on top of money and politicians’ images.’

 

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Steve Caplin Piss Artist, 2012
‘A life-size figure of a man perpetually drinks from a beer bottle while urinating into a trash can. Urine-colored water is pumped through the system like a fountain.’

 

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Tom Marioni Piss Piece, 1970
‘I invited nine sculptors to make sound works for my show, which took place on April 10, 1970. My alter ego, Allan Fish was one of the nine artists in the show […] I announced I would be performing Allan Fish’s piece for him. After drinking several bottles of beer, I climbed to the top of a stepladder and, with my back to the audience, peed into a big galvanized tub, which produces a sound of different tones and frequency as the bucket fills.’

Listen

 

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‘We are the American Society of Presidential Urine Collectors, which celebrates its centennial this year. We collect urine from any and all U.S. presidents. This is the final weekend to soak in the collection of U.S. Presidential urine (Jame K. Polk through George W. Bush) that is currently on display in Fountain Square. The collection, which includes the largest Lincoln in private hands, remains in the front window of the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (iMOCA) through April 29.’

 

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Tony Tasset I Peed in my Pants, 1994
cibachrome print

 

 

*

p.s. Hey. ** T, Hi. I’ve only just realised we have two distinct people named ‘T’ here. I don’t think that’s ever happened before. I’ll make sure to keep you guys straight, or, well, … you know what I mean. Anyway, oh man, yeah, your weekend sounds very not pleasurable. And I really feel it as I’m someone who spent a bunch of my life either indulging or battling a super strong caretaker aspect of me. It’s hard, really confusing and really hard. I had to go into therapy, which I had never ever wanted to do, to get equilibrium about that in myself. I hope you’ve managed to pass out of the pain. I’m happy to talk about that stuff, if you want. I know it well. Take care, pal. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben! Oh, awesome. Best of the best of luck getting through the big funereal shebang today. Is there a quiet, non-TV invaded space there? ** David Ehrenstein, Well, that’s certainly true. Although he was really good in ‘Spring Breakers’. His one and only shining moment. ** Paul Curran, Hi, Paul! Hugs from way across — or I guess I mean around — the globe. Thanks, pal! Things are good when they’re not complicated and stressful, thanks. You, there, yours? Next month! Dude, let me know in case I miss the general announcement. Great, great! And you’re doing thing in the big Infinity Land event. That looks like it’s going to be quite the thing. I know Michael Kiddiepunk is going over to show his superb new film. I hope your thing with Marc will get public. Obviously super curious and excited to see it. You sound good. I so can’t wait to get down to the big J again, holy shit. Love, me. ** Steve Erickson, Hi. Hm, that’s not impossible, I guess. I’m always blown away by who/what turns out to be regular readers of this place. I’ll skip ‘Pearl’. Man, you’ve got to get this dizziness out of your life. Is it diminishing at all? ** T, Hi, T. I was saying up above that I only just realised there are two of you T’s here. I think I might have been thinking you guys were in fact one unusually complicated being. But I think I have it sorted in my head now. You watched ‘Justine’, cool. I’d read ‘Juliette’ before you read ‘Justine’ if you haven’t. Oh, I get you on the microwave. Yeah, that’s totally true for me: old stuff just keeping dying no matter its temperature. A golden rule. Ha ha, I’ll take that cape. Wow, what a mental image. I should really get chemmed up one day and steal a cloak from god knows where and sashay into the Madeleine metro station entrance. Maybe I will. Never say never. I was going to say I hope your day is like the zombie Queen bursting out of her coffin today and eating Prince William’s face, but that would make her continue to dominate the news for fucking ever, so never mind. I hope your Monday doses every piece of Haribo candy in the world with LSD. xo, DC. ** Misanthrope, Yes, the legendary NYC meetup was simultaneously pleasurable and memorable. You in Paris! Goodness gracious. Fingers crossed like the crucifixion. Kids like you because you would have made  a great silent film star. You would have. Good luck with the work haul. ** Right. I think today’s post is fully explanatory. See you tomorrow.

9 Comments

  1. Tea

    Here’s my solution to this conundrum—two more letters. This is what people usually call me anyway, though T was just for brevity. If it helps, the 3 most important facts about me as follows: I’m from Canada, I’m a big Swans fan, and I’m really interested in non-conventional fetishes. There’s one more but it’s too embarrassing.

    The second I saw that comment posted, my reaction was, oh shit. Then the extreme clarity that comes with that sort of thing. I usually write that crap in a journal. I tried writing a regular comment, and that came out instead. But thank you for the kindness and relating too. I’ve been in therapy for years, but there was a spell where I would ask about other peoples’ problems rather than my own. Couldn’t have helped, but I’m getting a handle on it.

    And, of course, I have to say something about piss. I love it. I think that sums it up. Also glad Piss Aktion is here cause it’s the first thing I thought of.

    • T

      Oh, cheers for that T/ea… You didn’t have to just because of me hahah

  2. David Ehrenstein

    and Vinegar

  3. _Black_Acrylic

    Piss, it’s just the bane of my life at the moment. Thankfully, here at the East Leeds Recovery Hub I’m in about the right place to receive care for this problem. You’ll be happy to hear that I’ve avoided a single second of today’s funeral coverage, Mum and I listening to some old Lou Reed recordings together and sharing this moving tribute. I think we were the only folk here not to have mournful trumpets as soundtrack, the walls festooned with Union Jacks and a handy Elizabeth II prayer book left discreetly on my table. I’m feeling quite alienated from England right now!

  4. Dominik

    Hi!!

    What a lovely post to come back to! I’d really love to hear Eduardo Gil’s “Urine Readings.”

    I successfully survived the wedding. The couple was lovely, but some aspects of these traditional celebrations are just beyond me. How was your weekend? Is Zac alright?

    Love making a tradition of holding wedding-like events in the case of divorces too, Od.

  5. Bill

    The Helen Chadwick piece is hilarious and beautiful. The gargoyle accessory and meth/piss fountain (eek) are also pretty great. And those are photos of Muehl and Brus back in the day? I don’t think I’ve seen pix of Brus with hair, wow.

    Just got back from Chicago. I’m happy to report Quimby’s is still going strong:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/gbpuxfN9YuPA682X6
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/EBSFUkhUihV77qYcA

    Bill

  6. T

    Hey Dennis. Yeah, it’s like a fun ‘Perfect Blue’ moment on the blog! I’m cool with being an unusually complicated being with multiple manifestations though. Provided those manifestations are down with it also. You gotta be running out of body fluids to theme these posts around, no? They’re gonna have to invent even more of them. I have a friend who very recently took part in an action on a similar theme to the Cassils piece, they threw bottles of piss at the EHRC building in London and like danced in it. There was a really nice video document made of it too, but alas only on insta, and double alas it was taken down so impossible to link here. Fascists. Do you know what, I had to spend a while weighing up whether her zombie rebirth would compensate for old Liz’s continued dominance on the airwaves and you know, the jury’s out on that one. Hope your Tuesday is like all the supermarket security guards of Paris agreeing to turn a blind eye whilst you sweep the shelves, xT.

  7. Steve Erickson

    I’d love to get a diagnosis and effective treatment for my vertigo, but I’ve averaged one doctor’s visit a week for the last two months without even getting to that point yet.

    Does Dimes Square resonate with the French art scene? Reading about it in New York, it really seems like a media creation, a desperate attempt to manufacture a new avant-garde.

  8. Robert

    God, to live in Germany in the sixties…I feel like I hear about a lot of Austrian performance artists getting up to similarly crazy public nudity/defecation/masturbation stunts back around that time too. Something in the water!

    Sort of in a pickle trying to figure out what to do with my life. One day I think grad school, the next law school, the next getting a part time job in rural Kansas where rent is 200 bucks a month, the next peace corps, all very confusing. What do young people who want to write do nowadays? Working full time and writing and trying to get well-read feels unsustainable since I don’t know anyone around here, but an MfA program seems like the worst possible thing I could do to my writing, especially since I don’t have a whole lot of interest in writing short stories right now. Ach.

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