Andres Serrano, Piss Christ (1987)

Works of art that use urine:

Scatology, feces, defecation:


  • Anselm Kiefer, 20 Jahre Einsamkeit (20 Years of Solitude) (1971-91): pages stained with the artist's semen. "If one believed him -- and I have never known Kiefer to lie -- his sex life during his last 20 years in Germany consisted largely of frequent masturbation onto paper. This weird form of self-publication gave "bibliophilia" a whole new meaning, or it could have if anyone discussed the matter."--Peter Schjeldahl
  • Salvador Dalí (December, 1929): technically not a work of art, but an infamous symbolic gesture by an artist, with Oedipal undertones. Dalí's father had already disapproved of his son's marriage to Gala, but the straw that finally broke the camel's back was most likely the work Dalí exhibited titled "Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ" with an inscription that said, "Sometimes, I spit for fun on my Mother's Portrait." After that, Dalí's father had thrown him out of the house. Dalí claims that in return, he sent him a note that contained a used condom filled with his semen, and said, "Take that. I owe you nothing anymore!"
  • Vito Acconci, Seedbed (1972): a very famous piece in which the artist set himself up in a corner beneath a ramp on the gallery floor, and fantasized about the gallery visitors and (supposedly) masturbated to them. His vocalized thoughts were relayed to visitors via speakers installed in the gallery.
  • Marcel Duchamp, Paysage Fautif (1946): an abstract composition made entirely out of the artist's semen.
  • Matthew Barney, Hoist (youtube video) (2006)
  • Marc Bradley Johnson, Take This Sperm and Be Free of Me (2013)
  • Alexander Brener, Diving Platform (1994)


  • Marc Quinn, Self (1991)
  • Gina Pane, Action Psyche (1974)
  • Catherine Opie, Self Portrait (Cutting) (1993)
  • John Isaacs, Today I Started Loving You Again (2003)
  • Hermann Nitsch, 80th Action (1984)
  • Mark Pauline (of Survival Research Laboratories), Machine Sex (1979 performance): the first Survival Research Laboratory performance which "was staged at a gas station in North Beach shortly after OPEC price rise," Pauline narrates, "I had build a de-manufacturing machine that was like a giant food processor, called 'The Shredder.' It was made out of a triangular-shaped drum, with a clear Plexiglass dome over it, with a conveyor belt you could tie objects to, leading into it. So, I tied on a bunch of dead pidgeons and dressed them up in little paper Arab doll costumes. Then I activated the machine, and fed the pidgeons through, where they were chopped up by a succession of very sharp blades. After that, their remains were ejected out the sides--blown about ten feet--so the audience got hit with gobs of feather, blood, guts, and bone." - from Bill Edmondson, "Survival Research Laboratories: More Dead Animal Jokes, An Interview with Mark Pauline," East Village Eye 6, no. 55 (June 1985): 35.
  • Eleanor Antin, The Blood of a Poet Box (1965-8): The artist collected blood specimens from 100 poets, intended to draw connections between blood smeared on a laboratory slide and a name. From the project, Antin claimed she "soon discovered that blood isolated from the body is at best merely a metaphor except to certain esoteric specialists like doctors and policemen." - Eleanor Antin, "Notes on Transformation," Flash Art  44/45 (April 1974): 69.
  • Carina Úbeda, Paños (2013)
  • Steven Johnson Leyba, alchemical portraits (1989-present): series of portraits made with the artist's blood.

All of the above:

  • Günter Brus, Art and Revolution (1968): "Brus and other Actionists had been invited to participate in a political discussion about the position and function of art in late capitalist society by the students' association at the University of Vienna. Brus removed his clothes and stood on a chair in the lecture hall, naked except for his socks. After cutting his chest and thigh with a razor blade, he urinated into a glass and drank from it, defecated and smeared his body with faeces. He then lay on the floor and masturbated while singing the Austrian national anthem. He was arrested for degrading state symbols and had to go into exile in Berlin [on the East German Border] in order to escape a six-month prison sentence. Brus claimed that he had planned 'to demonstrate pissing and shitting without excess doings, to record these secretions by photography, as Hitchcock captured the sweat on Cary Grant's brow', but this statement ignored the deeply subversive nature of his status quo, and he was not pardoned until 1976."--Tracey Warr, The Artist's Body.



  • Lygia Clark, Anthropophagical Dribble (1973): "students each sucked a small reel of colored thread which they then unwound directly from their mouths onto one of their colleagues stretched out on the ground, the body of the latter gradually buried under a mottled web of regurgitations." --Yve-Alain Bois, "Nostalgia of the Body" (1994)