The blog of author Dennis Cooper


Santiago Sierra Anthropometric Modules made from Human Faeces by the People of Sulabh International, India (2007)
This work has been made possible by the collaboration of Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak and all people from Sulabh International in India.


Daniel Edwards Suri’s Bronzed Baby Poop (2006)
Casting of the baby poop with a bronze finish and mounted on a base that includes a brass plate engraved with baby Suri’s name, comes at a time when Tom Cruise is increasingly known for his eccentricity.


Gelatin Vorm – Fellows – Attitude (2018)
One is a light-brown swirl pointing upwards that, from one angle, looks like the poop emoji. The second is a gigantic, dark-almost-black turd snaking its way from one room to the next while another is a three-layer construction with a gap wide enough for someone to crawl through. The last one is a big pile — somewhat meringue like — similar to the great heap of dinosaur dung in Jurassic Park that prompts Jeff Goldblum’s befuddled character to utter: “That’s one big pile of shit.” They were made by the Vienna-based art collective Gelatin.


Toto Untitled (2015)
At Tokyo’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, known as the Miraikan (literally “Future Museum”), children donning special shit-shaped caps line up to get flushed down the toilet.


John Knuth Made in Los Angeles (2013)
Painter John Knuth of Los Angeles has created a series of paintings called “Made in Los Angeles,” where the verb “made” is used the way my grandmother used it, as in, “Did you make in the potty?” Knuth, who created the series for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, takes hundreds of thousands of maggots and places them in a screened-in box that has a canvas for a floor. The maggots hatch into flies, and Knuth feeds them a brew of water, sugar, and watercolor paint. The canvases are painted in neutral, monochromatic colors and the watercolors are bright reds, blues, and greens. For three months, Knuth lets the flies buzz happily around their enclosure, emitting little specks of color and creating inadvertent art (to them) as they go.


Paul McCarthy Complex Shit (2008)
In the summer of 2008, one of McCarthy’s mega-inflatables, “Complex Shit,” which is the size of a suburban house, broke free of its moorings on the grounds of the Paul Klee Centre in Bern, Switzerland. The runaway sculpture managed to tear down a power line, smash a greenhouse window, and another window at a children’s home before it was flushed down from the sky.


John Miller I Stand, I Fall (2016)
Made with things such as buckets, Styrofoam, gauze tape, plywood, plaster, and modeling paste, the work was painted with acrylics to look like poop. “It was supposed to have an excremental or shit-like feel,” Miller informs. “At the time, it was a bit of a provocation. I think the U.S. audiences were much more puritanical than they are now. It was more just to invoke excrement as a reference.” But some spectators told him the work made them feel physically ill. Of course, it was embraced in Germany.


Jerzy S. Kenar Sh*t Fountain (2009)
Crafted by internationally known religious sculpture artist Jerzy Kenar, Sh*t Fountain is a sculpture of a big turd that rests on a 3ft-high concrete column in Augusta, IL.


Tom Friedman Feces on Pedestal (1992)


The Jumbo Golden Poop Mosquito Coil Cover is made from durable, heat-resistant ceramic and sports a polished golden cover fashioned to resemble some ideal, dream dump no actual person could produce without the assistance of a spotter holding a GPS receiver. The cover is pierced with holes to allow the smoldering mosquito coil secreted within to waft its insecticidal incense.


Nicolas Deshayes Cramps (2015)
The embryonic lumps that snake across the generic surface of Deshayes’ Cramps (2015), a diptych of vacuumformed polyurethane guts, are shrink-wrapped into a sickly sweet veneer. The material is a non-bio-degradable, seemingly anti-organic plastic, however it is processed from fossil fuels that have formed over many million years through the degeneration of prehistoric organisms. Vacuum-forming today serves as the standard process of industrial prototyping and a method for mechanical reproduction.


Dieter Roth Rabbit-shit-rabbit (1972)


Erik Patton Stool Sample (2018)
Erik Patton’s Stool Sample is a partial-room constructed environment that continues his interest in the body and its relation to materiality. As early as the Old Babylonian hymns, the anus has been recognized as a body portal. Where will yours take you?


Mitsuyuki Ikeda, a researcher from the Okayama Laboratory, came up with the process of producing an artificial steak after Tokyo Sewage asked if he could devise a way of using up the city’s excessive “sewage mud”. His methods? He extracts proteins from the waste, turns it red using food coloring and injects a boost of flavor with soy. His equipment? An exploder. Oh, and he adds “reaction enhancer.” The synthesized fecal meat’s vitals stats are: 63% protein, 25% carbs, 3% lipids and 9% minerals.


Simon Fujiwara No Milk Today (2015)
On another floor are a series of paintings made by cows, created by their excrement, which colored canvases positioned behind them during lactation (“No Milk Today”). The works are hung lower than the standard hanging height of an artwork, placed at the average cow’s eye level, and are unified in shape, size, and khaki shades.


Mauro Perucchetti My Shit is Better Than Yours (2012)


Kiki Smith Tale (1992)
In the work, a female sculpture which is in a prostrate gesture is shown. It is naked and is crouching on all fours while defecating a long, snakelike turd onto the floor. Moreover, There is full of dirt on her body, especially on her bottom.


Wim Delvoye Cloaca (2000-2007)
Designed by Belgium artist Wim Delvoye and first exhibited in 2000 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp, the machine was fed twice a day. After the machine is “fed,” the food is ground up. Digestive juices (acid, etc.) are added and, after a spell, the machine pushes out a nice (somewhat solid) doodie.


Mike Bouchet The Zurich Load (2016)
Bouchet’s piece saw eighty tonnes of human excrement packed into a series of large brown bricks spread out to cover an area of 79 x 840 x 3,040 centimetres at Lowenbraukunst, a converted brewery on the banks of the Limmat river that was home to the majority of Manifesta’s offerings. The ‘load’ had been mixed with cement, lime and pigment, and there was a notice near the entrance stating that the sludge had been made safe for public presentation. My visit occurred about eight weeks into Manifesta, and thus the worst of the smell had dissipated – I was told by a local, however, that residents in the neighbourhood complained vehemently when the piece was installed and the stench was somewhat riper. Now it was, surprisingly, not overpowering and more like the smell of manure on a farm than human sewage. Also striking was the dryness, with the slabs resembling peat briquettes used for fuel. The fact the bricks were immaculately laid out in perfect order seemed a nod to Zurich’s glorification of neatness and symmetry.


Andres Serrano Shit Series (2007)
Yvon Lambert New York is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by American artist Andres Serrano. The exhibition titled “SHIT” features new large scale photographs and will be accompanied by a full color catalogue with an essay by Hélène Cixous.


Tala Madani Rear Projection: Soft (2013)


Google CEO Eric Schmidt, famous for weirdly off-kilter mockery of the privacy his company exploits for its billions, has been immortalized in shit. Artist Katsu selected “Eric Shit” as the second in his series of portraits created using his own excrement. The first was of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.


Jaan Toomik May 15 – June 1, 1992 (1992)
A renowned and controversial installation by Jaan Toomik consisting of several jars of the artist’s own excrement is being bought by the Tartu Art Museum. Now Estonia’s most recognized contemporary artist on the international circuit, Toomik caused a stir two decades ago with his work “May 15 – June 1, 1992,” which includes a “menu” of what he ate along with each day’s output for the period.


Jock Mooney Vom Shit Dog (2010)
plastic modelling compound, enamel paint


Dan Colen Birdshit Paintings (2007)


Zhu Cheng, one of China’s most famous and talented sculptors, has helped nine of his art students create a replica of Venus de Milo out of excrement. As you can see in the photo, the excrement-made Venus de Milo is encased in a transparent box to protect it and make sure that the smell of crap doesn’t drive everyone away from the exhibit at the Henan Art Museum in Zhengzhou city, China. The statue was purchased by a Swiss art collector for 300,000 yuan ($45,113).


In Toronto, a city crammed full of fine restaurants, famous chefs and innovative dining ventures, it would be difficult for anyone to create a new fad. But one George Brown College graduate is hoping her “Poop Café Dessert Bar” will cause the next big stink. Opening mid-August in Koreatown, Lien Nguyen’s cafe will offer an all-brown menu, in the shape of human stools. “I’m trying to make poop cute,” Ms Nguyen explained to the Toronto Star. She said she first discovered the concept when she was visiting her mother in Taiwan a few years ago. “We checked out a toilet-themed restaurant and I just loved it,” she said. “It’s funny to put food and poop together; it’s a great comparison. It stayed in my mind for a long time. As soon as I finished school, I said, ‘OK, I’m going to bring the restaurant to Toronto.’”




Ian Haig Excelsior 3000 – bowel technology project (2001)
Excelsior 3000 looks to the toilet as an amalgam of bodily and machine interface, and the fantasy of a toilet that functions as a medical device in assisting ones bowel movements. The work seeks to redefine the relationship of the human body and technology to the bowel and amplify the notion of the bowel and toilet as everyday ‘invisible’ interfaces.


Mike Kelley and Bob Flanagan MORE LOVE THAN CAN EVER BE REPAID (1991)




p.s. Hey. If anyone’s reading this in London or nearby-ish, there’s an Event page on Facebook for the screening of PERMANENT GREEN LIGHT at Cabinet Gallery on September 14th. Zac Farley and I will be there and will do a Q&A. You can get all info and buy tickets on that page. I hope if you’ll be around London you’ll come see the film. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi Ben. Thanks for propping Bill’s hugely proppable track. Thanks too for the explanation about the Independence vote possibility. Of course it’s very complicated and poisoned by spin and … ugh. ** Steve Erickson, Got the Ka collaboration album but haven’t ‘spun’ it yet. Cool beans on the in-person. The Spike Lee opens here this week, and I’m pretty excited to see it. First Lee film in a long time that has started those thrusters. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. Yeah, of course the Asia Argento thing is all over the news here too. Oh man. I don’t remember David McReynolds. I’ll go read up on him, thanks. ** Tosh Berman, Hi, Tosh. Yeah, grim about Tom Clark. I loved his poetry when I was young too. I published a book by him with Little Caesar, and he and I were pretty friendly for a time. But then he had some bizarre paranoia attack and started harassing me, leaving threatening voicemails day and night, and that was that. You probably know that in the mid-80s, he and Ed Dorn devised ‘The AIDS Award’ whereby they would give writers they didn’t like ‘AIDS’. They gave me the first one, and the second ‘AIDS Award’ was given to the poet Steve Abbott who was dying of AIDS at the time. Wonderful poet, but a very fucked up guy. ** Dominik, Hi! Happy Monday! I still think the 10th angle on the Synopsis is probably the right one, but I still haven’t figured out how to put it in words simply and catchily. I keep trying. No deadline, just the sooner the better because we should start applying for funds ASAP. Oh, if you remember, do scream at me if the Betyars come here. Paris doesn’t have a good central gig listing kind of site, and it’s really easy to not know people are playing and miss them. Happy belated birthday to Anita! That sounds like a kind of totally ideal weekend, yay! Yeah, Bresson films do put one in a really singular state that takes a while to shake off, I think. I’m very happy you watched ‘TD,P’ of course! My weekend was basically just working, trying to write that evasive Synopsis, pre-planning the trips to NYC and London, and other stuff. I’m good. People are finally starting to filter back into Paris from their vacations, so I’ll get to see friends again. Have a really great week, pal, and give me the scoop! ** Misanthrope, Hi. True about Chris’s stuff. I wonder where he is. I haven’t seen hide nor hair of him here or on FB in ages. I did get to meet the mysterious fella in NYC when he came to see ‘Them’, and that was awesome. It’s definitely not always about what gets on the page. The engine is just as important. More so, really, I guess. ** Kyler, Congrats on your successful bowing down to the speed limit or on your timing re: passing cop cars. Your trip sounds to have been really wonderful, idyllic, refreshing, and all that potentially sublime stuff. Cool. ** Nik, Hi there, Nik! Great to see you! I’m good. Big meeting tomorrow re: the ARTE project, fingers crossed, and we’re ever nearer finishing the new film script. Should be any day. Takoma is so great. I keep wanting to do a John Fahey gig post and getting too intimidated to make it. Dude, X-R-A-Y and you have united! That’s so great! Congratulations to you and equally to them. I’ll go read that as soon as humanly possible. Whoo-hoo! Everyone, Nik, who also goes by, I think, the real name Nikolas Slackman, has just had a story published by/on the crucial X-R-A-Y site that is co-edited by writer and yesterday’s post-host Chris Dankland. Nik’s story is called ‘Shaver’, and I’m psyched as fuck to read it, and dare I suggest you might be too? Very highly recommended reading material for you today. And … here it is. Yeah, happy to share my thoughts on it here or email-wise or somewhere. I’m really glad you’re all up inside your writing and getting things down! Ha ha. I hope your Tuesday is the complete opposite of every photo in today’s post. ** Okay. It was obviously inevitable that my penchant for making theme posts would have us wind up where we’ve wound up today. My apologies or you’re very welcome, you decide. See you tomorrow.


  1. Hey Dennis you forgot the shot-eating in “Salo.”

    Pasolini actually used the finest spun chocolate for shit so his actors were very happy to eat it.

  2. Wow! I didn’t know that about Tom Clark or Ed Dorn. I saw Kevin’s post on Facebook regarding the AIDS thing, as a passing commentary, but it didn’t have any details of the incident – but that is really tasteless. I remember a controversy in the 1980s about those two, but since I’m not really into that world, I just didn’t know. That’s pretty horrible. So, basically, they were insane. That’s sad.

  3. I shared my thoughts on BLACKKKLANSMAN when I got home on Facebook last night, so you may have seen them. It’s often maddeningly heavy-handed (something of a constant with Spike Lee’s work), with the parallels between its fictionalized David Duke and our present-day Donald Trump repeatedly brought home (and then made totally explicit with footage of both Duke & Trump from last year), but I must admit that it builds up to something more than the sum of its parts. The sections about Jewish identity – which, although set in the 1970s, are obviously inspired by the rise of anti-Semitism in the US over the past few years – really hit home for me, and I know this isn’t a solitary reaction.

    Author Randall Kennedy gave an interview on his book BULLSHIT to the Daily Show years ago, and although it’s not about literal shit like most of the artwork here, they let go of the usual bleeping of profanity and allowed Kennedy and Jon Stewart to say “bullshit” several dozen times.

    I know you dislike SALO, but no stills from its middle section? Or THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE?

  4. Great collection of creative and hilarious pieces today, Dennis. That bunny is wonderful, for starters.

    On a related note, I just came across:

    Thanks for the plug yesterday! Very happy you and Black Acrylic liked the little sketch. I did enjoy making the title (an anagram).

    Good luck with the big ARTE meeting tomorrow.


  5. I love this post, Dennis! I’m so tired and need to go to bed, but couldn’t not express my appreciation for such a fine work. Shit indeed. I’m currently taking new medication that basically interacts with the food I’m taking so I can theoretically shit like a normal person, so this is a timely post for me, having had had shit on my mind for a while. Man, as soon as I saw the name of this post I knew I’d say something all tmi. Sorry.
    How are you? I’ll be here tomorrow to catch up proper. Hope things are great with you.
    May your Wednesday be written by your favourite writer.
    Anti-faecal love,

  6. p.s. I forgot to say – I’m not sure that many folk who visit the blog will be able to go, but Hannah’s putting on this event on Saturday at Glasgow Women’s Library and everyone is welcome!

  7. Nice exhibition. I would nominate Wim Delvoye’s Cloaca machine for inclusion in this shitshow.

    Dundee’s McManus Gallery today agreed to take 6 Yuck ‘n Yum Compendiums for their shop, which is a good step on our way to making the project visible across the city. I’m still waiting to hear back from the V&A shop after emailing them last week, but the place isn’t even open yet and I suppose they should be given chance to organise themselves.

  8. Hey D!

    How’d the big meeting go? I’m sure the nature of the project has developed a lot, I hope you aren’t in a position where you have to compromise the original ideas all that much. And hugely happy to hear the script has come nearly into completion, of course, congratulations!
    Wow, nice shit compilation. The zoom for Feces on Pedestal is hilarious. Those Serrano pictures and Kiki Smith’s sculpture were the only two that made me want to straight up look away. I visited Bard today and figured out my classes for next semester and all, so my Tuesday was shit free, this post excluded.
    Thanks for the kind words and excitement about the story! My email is nikslackman@gmail.com, if you get the time to send some thoughts that would mean a ton to me.
    Also, if you want a John Fahey post, I would be totally more than happy to make one. I’ve been really uber-fanning over him via albums, interviews, his fiction, etc., so I’d be totally honored to organize all that knowledge for the blog. Or maybe like a Takoma retrospective or something? If that interests you I’d be totally down, let me know!

  9. Hey Dennis – Some lovely shit here. I can’t see the other comments, but I’m assuming and hoping people have made good shit references. Amazing story about the Paul McCarthy sculpture that ran rampant. The ‘No Milk Today’ paintings were quite lovely and I’d never seen the Serrano photos. I was surprised that Pierre Manzoni’s ‘Merde d’Artist” wasn’t included. Too iconic?

    Hope the ARTE meeting went well. Have Lincoln Center approved the clips yet for the screening? Very curious to hear what you chose/can show.

    Had my shoulder checked out and it’s healing well, though apparently I’ve got another six weeks to go before I can expect to be free of pain, have decent motion, etc. I was able to perform a show this weekend and managed it without a sling so that was good. And the show itself went very well, playing with a bunch of good local acts – including this band Patois Counselors who Steve Albini recently called his favorite new group. They just put out a new album that’s really good, sort of like if Pere Ubu was a noisy dance act? Suspect you’d really like it. You can hear it here: https://patoiscounselors.bandcamp.com/album/proper-release-lp

  10. hi dennis !!

    I’m sorry for being the invisible man around here lately – for whatever reason I’ve just been off in my own world for most of the year. I missed it by a day, but thanks so much for reupping my country post !! that was unexpected and made me happy.

    How’s everything been lately? What are you working on?
    I’m enjoying the shit art show today, especially the bronzed baby poop. I wouldn’t be too astonished if that actually was a trend among wealthy parents with some extra bronzing money laying around. Since I moved up here I’ve got a dog in my life again, which means coaxing the dog onto a plot of grass and applauding when she squeezes out a big shit noodle. I wouldn’t be too astonished if somebody in America’s has some bronzed dog shit sitting around the house.

    It was so great to see you in NYC !! the show was beautiful – the dancers, the music – and your reading was great, you know how to add just the right pauses and tones. I’ve been rereading some of the sections from The Missing Men that you included in the play and studying how you pulled them off. It made me so happy to see you in the flesh and say hi.

    I got tickets for the NYC premiere of Permanent Green Light on Wednesday September 5 !! I’m so excited to see the movie, I’ve been waiting for it a long time. Thanks for taking the show on the road and giving me a chance to see it on the big screen.

    I hope u have a great morning !! take care

  11. Dennis, This day reminds me that I use the term “shit” too much. Or maybe not. Even when complimenting something, I’ll say, “That’s some good shit.” Hmm.

    My dad once said that he thought if you spiced it up right, he could probably eat a turd. He really liked to eat and there wasn’t much he wouldn’t eat. We called him “The Human Garbage Disposal” because he’d eat everything left on our plates.

    You did indeed meet him. I shan’t forget that, and neither will he.

    Yes, the engine. I hear you. Got some more done last night. That’s good. I’m so fucking tired tonight, so I’m just gonna hit the hay and work on it tomorrow night. 😀

    Chris is around. He better be.

  12. Dennis, This day reminds me that I use the term “shit” too much. Or maybe not. Even when complimenting something, I’ll say, “That’s some good shit.” Hmm.

    My dad once said that he thought if you spiced it up right, he could probably eat a turd. He really liked to eat and there wasn’t much he wouldn’t eat. We called him “The Human Garbage Disposal” because he’d eat everything left on our plates.

    You did indeed meet him. I shan’t forget that, and neither will he.

    Yes, the engine. I hear you. Got some more done last night. That’s good. I’m so fucking tired tonight, so I’m just gonna hit the hay and work on it tomorrow night. 😀

  13. hey dennis, the John Knuth stuff is genius. would love to see those in person

  14. Hey DC – I left some C&W suggestions for you on the Dankland post.

    You have any memories re: Son of Son?

    Listening to a podcast.

  15. Hello, Dennis. I know we haven’t spoken, but I am a huge fan of your work. And I highly appreciate what you have done and are doing writing wise. But, anyways I was wondering if I could contact you one and one and if so how? That is if you wish too.

  16. you might find it interesting to look into the shit sculptures of No!-artists, Boris Lurie and Sam Goodman (1964), although most of their other work was far more interesting. don’t know if you’ve ever featured No!Art, but it’s definitely up your alley in many ways. also, Donald Kuspit, who might not entirely be (up your…) wrote a very interesting essay on the excremental vision, entitled The Triumph of Shit: http://www.artnet.com/magazineus/features/kuspit/kuspit9-11-08.asp

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