My Snake Is Bigger Than Your Snake
Synopsis: My Snake is Bigger Than Your Snake is a transgressive auto-fiction that reimagines the mourning process through sex-positive performative ritual. Defanging complex memories of the director’s relationship to her father, a hallucinatory tableau unfolds. Lead character Lobsta Queen, haunted by her dying father, watches “Dad’s Dog” resurrect him for frisky sex and a cherry pie. The Virgin Mary blesses the childhood home with orgasmic, otherworldly sex magic, giving birth to Baby Jesus in the living room. The sleazy Snake Man offers up bags of gold-wrapped chocolate coins to buy the house only to be tortured by goddess Fortuna, a feral financial dominatrix. These fantastical costumed characters confront grief with humor.
Filmmaker and performer, Rebecca Goyette grew up in Townsend, a small working class town in Massachusetts. Goyette’s father, the town’s legendary eccentric, enjoyed Shakespeare, playing Billy Joel and classical music on the piano, brewing basement beer, amateur pyrotechnics, a love affair with his dog, homoerotic male bonding, raunchy jokes, elaborate pranks and wild pool parties.
When Goyette’s father died from liver failure on the 4th of July, she became the funeral planner. Dad’s dog Casper was an invited guest, who jumped up to the casket, licked his master’s face, and sat watch. Tasked with selling her childhood home, Goyette stepped into the real estate office alone, to be met by the buyer, a man sporting a My Snake is Bigger than Your Snake t-shirt. Goyette knew she was in a face-off with Snake Man. She too had dressed with her identity on display: an NYC Lobsta Bitch, wearing a red dress and gold-chained lobster purse to safely transport her check back to NYC on the Greyhound bus.
When casting for the film, Goyette asked each performer to explore their specific kinks. Using sex play as healing, a utopic world was formed where straight folks and queer folks could play together in ways that don’t often happen. My Snake is Bigger Than Your Snake examines the contrast between the artistic, sex-positive, inclusive NYC community surrounding Goyette’s art practice versus her small town roots.
Goyette incorporates her relationship to Goddess worship in My Snake Is Bigger Than Your Snake. After her father’s sudden death, Goyette embarked on a healing journey that included meditation, breath work and spiritual guidance. The Virgin Mary came through as a spirit guide to Goyette in a psychic reading. The Virgin Mary asked Goyette to artistically depict her with humor. Goyette imagined The Virgin Mary having sex with God in the abstract, no male form necessary. Goyette also reveres the Roman Goddess Fortuna. In My Snake is Bigger Than Your Snake, Fortuna, armed with shrink wrap and a diamond-studded whip, strips the Snake Man of his cockiness and wealth. She shares good fortune with the female characters, conjuring with her incantation, “Money, money is what we want, give us your gold or your dreams will haunt.”
Johnny Sagan (Dad)
Olive Hui (Dad's Dog)
Brian Andrew Whiteley (Snake Man)
Joanne Leah (Virgin Mary)
Rebecca Goyette’s interdisciplinary practice combines short films, performance art, costuming, ceramic sculpture, and drawing/painting to reflect on fantasy and fulfillment from a feminist perspective. Goyette’s video works and related props/objects draw from archival research, Puritan history, the annals of witchcraft and personal narrative. She embodies a broad range of characters in an ongoing series of psychosexual films, acting as both director and protagonist in these surreal vignettes. In her body of work titled “Ghost Bitch Dramas,” Goyette recounts the psychosexual dramas of her direct ancestor, Rebecca Nurse – who fell victim to the gallows in the Salem Witch Trials. In the costumed, satirical “Lobsta Porns,” she inhabits the sadomasochistic mating dance of a female lobster. Both of these primary characters are reflective of her small town Massachusetts roots, as well as a complex relationship with her father, whose eccentricities play out in her personal mythology. Her practice explores the power dynamics and oppression inherent in gender and sexuality, celebrating sex-positivity through a comedic lens, while simultaneously examining the psychology of sexual violence.
Rebecca Goyette is represented by Freight and Volume Gallery, NYC. Goyette’s short films have been screened at the Berlin Porn Film Festival, Spektrum: Art, Science and Community, Berlin, and House of Yes, NYC. She has exhibited her films and interdisciplinary art internationally with solo shows at Freight and Volume, Museum of Sex, NYC,, Jersey City Museum, Jersey City, NJ and Galerie X, Istanbul, Turkey and group shows at Kyung-In Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea, Museum of Sex, NYC, Whitney Museum of Art, NYC, Queens Museum of Art, NYC, KARST, Plymouth, England and Gallery Poulsen, Copenhagen, Denmark, amongst others. Her work was reviewed on European television Arté and in Village Voice, Vice Magazine, Hyperallergic, Huffington Post, Playboy Magazine, Newsweek Magazine and Ms. Magazine. Goyette has lectured at the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Pratt Institute, SVA, NYU Cooper Union, Eyebeam and the New School. Goyette is currently leading a series of workshops called “Maker’s Magic” that focuses on the intersections between art making, sexuality and ritual, and has co-curated an interdisciplinary exhibition, “Everyday Magic: Artistic and Gnostic Impulses,” at the National Arts Club, March/April, 2021, including an interactive “Magic Hour” series of rituals and live performance.