Lover Earth
Art and Ecosexuality

“WE ARE THE ECOSEXUALS. The Earth is our lover,” reads the first line of artists Beth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle’s 2016 Ecosex Manifesto. Stephens & Sprinkle use the term “ecosexuality” to describe an erotic connection to nature and wrote the manifesto to outline who they are and what they believe in. This exhibition’s title refers to their goal to shift the paradigm of “earth as mother” to “earth as lover.” The phrase “Lover Earth,” denotes a reciprocal relationship between humans and Earth rather than a relationship in which humans depend on the earth’s resources without nourishing the land in return. The closing line of the manifesto states the Ecosex Pledge: “I promise to love, honor, and cherish you Earth, until death brings us closer together forever.”

Stephens & Sprinkle perform what they refer to as ecosex rituals that involve making love to and marrying the earth. They created a document entitled 25 Ways to Make Love to the Earth, offering examples of how to perform these rituals: “Admire her views often … Hug and stroke his trees … Swim naked in their waters … Lay on top of her, or let her get on top of you.” Such performances promote environmental education and activism as well as sex positivity.

Lover Earth draws on this concept of ecosexuality, bringing together a selection of paintings, prints, photographs, and moving images from the Tang collection to explore the connection between human bodies and the earth and to encourage us to think critically about our relationship to the planet. This exhibition recontextualizes and provides a new lens through which to view these works. Together, the art presented creates a diverse ecology that celebrates nature, sexuality, and the ways in which these ideas intersect.
An animation with the word "Lover" above the word "Earth" with one word stretching larger as the other shrinks and then vice versa.
Frank Moore and Jim Self, Beehive, 1985, 16mm film transferred to digital video, 15 minutes, 45 seconds, gift of the Gesso Foundation
Paula Wilson, Salty & Fresh, 2014, digital video, 8 minutes, 4 seconds, Tang purchase

The Ecosex Manifesto, written by Beth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle in 2016, outlines the tenets of ecosexuality and describes the beliefs and actions associated with the movement.

   (i) WE ARE THE ECOSEXUALS

   (ii) WE MAKE LOVE WITH THE EARTH

   (iii) WE ARE A RAPIDLY GROWING COMMUNITY OF ECOSEXUALS

   (iv) WE ARE ECOSEX ACTIVISTS

   (v) ECOSEXUAL IS AN IDENTITY

   (vi) THE ECOSEX PLEDGE

VIVA LA ECOSEX REVOLUCION!

Download or view a PDF of the full manifesto here.

Lover Earth: A Spotify Playlist by Caroline Coxe

Capturing the essence of ecosexuality, this playlist has songs that are anthems of environmental and social justice, love letters to our planet, and reminders of the tender relationship between humans and the earth. Featuring a diverse group of musical artists, this playlist, like the exhibition, demonstrates how these themes are pervasive throughout time and place.

Exhibition Name
Lover Earth
Art and Ecosexuality
Exhibition Type
Student Curated
Group Exhibitions
Place
Winter Gallery Online
Dates
May 30, 2020 - Aug 23, 2020
Curators
Lover Earth: Art and Ecosexuality is curated by Caroline Coxe ’20, the 2019–20 Eleanor Linder Winter ’43 Endowed Intern.
Artists
Steven Arnold, Atong Atem, Dorothy Dehner, Naomi Fisher, Flor Garduño, Corita Kent, Ana Mendieta, Frank Moore, John O'Reilly, Olivia Parker, Clare Richardson, Jim Self, Dasha Shishkin, Franklin Williams, Paula Wilson
Student Staff
Caroline Coxe stands in front of a metal stairway looking at the camera
Caroline Coxe
2019-20 Eleanor Linder Winter Endowed Intern, Student Advisory Council, past: Education Assistant for College and Public Programs, Gallery Monitor Associate
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