The Couple of the New Millennium
Jenni Messner and Zach Trebino, preforming as GOATPIG, refer to themselves as the Couple of the New Millennium: they like a good pun, and they like to get weird. “It’s basically about the relationship between death, sex, and consumption,” Jenni says in describing Story of the Eye, George Bataille’s novel which serves as inspiration for the couple’s Fringe Festival show, story of my eye.
They describe story of my eye as a vaudevillian meta-pageant. “JACKASS, Tom Green, Eric Andre – stuff like that has a direct relationship to vaudeville, and that’s the comedic/performative culture I’ve been steeped in,” Zach explains. For him vaudeville has to do with acts of reflexive sadomasochism used in the creation of comedy, acts that make an audience laugh but also question the reality of what they witness.
The episodic variety show structure of story of my eye, also a vaudevillian element, promises colorful images and absurdity. When asked about the visuals of their work Zach and Jenni responded with a list of three word phrases:
- SALAD PUG ANAL
- GOOGLY EYES INFLATABLE
- DEAD FISH CRADLE
- OMELETE VOMIT COMET
- NIPPLE CHIP CLIP
- DO THE WORM
They hope that some of these elements make audiences uncomfortable, bring new questions to the table. However, Jenni and Zach examine their own discomfort and social conditioning as well as that of the audience. “My Midwestern mind starts recoiling and intellectualizing everything,” Jenni shares. “Why do people recoil at the violation of certain taboos and social behaviors? Just how deep is the coercive influence of media and learned propriety and how much do these influences prevent us from showing up as honestly as we can in our most private moments?” Zach asks. There are many surprises left in store for audiences who are curious about these questions.