In this era of cynicism, war mongering, and bigotry disguised as morality, injecting a little love and sex into all the stuffed-shirt piety seems fitting. That's what artists Annie Sprinkle (the sanguine smut peddler perhaps best known for demystifying the female genitalia with the assistance of her trusty speculum and a few eager audience members) and Elizabeth Stephens accomplish with their Love Art Laboratory. Plenty fits the bill when it comes to art these days -- particularly when it involves defecation and that most American of bad habits, irony -- but Sprinkle and Stephens are unique in that their ultimate muse is Cupid. The twosome, who base their art on their own relationship, say they go "deep inside our second chakra," creating a series of sexy, infectiously sunny, and always captivating performance events -- inspiring spectators with warm fuzzies and PDA-induced discomfort alike. Some of their projects include getting married every 12 months (and assigning each year its own color), unmasking the politics of the kiss, and affirming the subversive potential of cuddling. But don't worry -- none of it is overly cloying. If anything, the way in which Sprinkle and Stephens force onlookers to examine their own baggage concerning love in a public space is an inspiring affirmation of the "personal is political" adage. And hopefully, all the canoodling is helping the artists fulfill their goal of making the world a better and more beautiful place. Sprinkle and Stephens talk about their work tonight as part of the Soap Box Lecture Series, which invites Bernal Heights artists every first Saturday of the month to the Laundromat.
Sat., Sept. 1, 10 p.m.