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First Queer Supper: A Celebration of Queerness Where Everyone Gets A Seat At The Table.

Interview by: Patrick Duffy


To celebrate inclusivity, diversity, and visibility for this project that strives to destroy anti LGBTQIA+ language, legal precedents, and societal stigma, Barry Brandon, better known online as @thequeerindigo, brought together 13 people from different parts of the world. These antiquated beliefs simply serve to support prejudices and social structures that claim LGBT people are not deserving of equality or agency. A queer interpretation of "The Last Supper" has been curated and produced by Barry Brandon. It is told through the viewpoint of unapologetically excellent queerness.

"If the jesus that christians adore were alive today, he would be the largest socialist", Brandon said of the project. He would be participating in a street rally to support LGBTQIA+ rights. He would fight for queer and transgender persons. He most certainly wouldn't be the type of guy the Republican Party of North America would endorse. Instead than looking to other individuals or institutions for validation, queer people must discover comfort and significance inside themselves. Finding workable solutions and strengthening the community are two of my priorities. This is infinitely more successful than "thoughts and prayers" and will always be more effective than waiting for change.


The First Queer Dinner is meant to be both disruptive and a reference. The art forces a dichotomy that is both uncomfortable and soothing to the viewer by showing strong queer people in a canonical piece of christian iconography. The art also draws attention to the heteronormative and destructive mechanisms that continue to negatively impact queer people while also openly undermining them by emphasizing this dual space.


No matter who you are, this labor doesn't only provide you with a place at the table. It actually extends a warm welcome to you.






Note: The words "christianity” and other religious names or words are intentionally not capitalized "as it perpetuates the delusion that it’s worthy of respect." says Barry Brandon. IRK has written the article with this in mind and choose to respect thier wishes)


IRK: How does this work challenge the viewer's perceptions of Queer culture?


Barry: To be honest, I don’t wish to speculate on someone’s perception of my work because I think that is a personal matter. I do hope that this project helps make people feel validated through a shared viewpoint that religion isn’t a requirement to live a happy, fulfilled joyous life and that you can find community in a space where shared values don’t require a rulebook for how you live your life. My hope is that people will feel free.


IRK: Why is this project so important?


Barry: Many people suffer and struggle with PTSD and other forms of trauma endured from either the religious institution itself or family that uses religion as a means of invalidation and control. We live in a time when enlightenment seems to be at the forefront of culture. We need true autonomy over ourselves to be truly free and rid of placed norms and expectations. Trans people are real. Queer people are real. We have been targeted and persecuted for far too long with no actual root other than fear. The fear that our free and liberated existence scares people. We mirror their lack of conscious awareness to be free.


IRK: I love your quote about who you think jesus would be today. Can you explain who you think jesus is and what they would be like?

Barry: The most progressive socialist that ever lived. Based on what I know of the version of jesus that christians love so much, is that he was essentially love. He fed people. He healed people. He didn’t judge. He didn’t hurt or harm anyone. He advocated for the protection of those that were being persecuted. To be clear, this person, though probably a real person that lived and walked the earth, to me was not the version that is told through storytelling so I am sharing my opinion based on this character that christians have praised.


IRK: The "characters" in your version of The Last Queer Supper represent so many different cultures, where are they from and what do they represent?


Barry: The thought was to have a diverse and inclusive group of people that all shared a commonality which was the ability to live freely and openly in who they are. They represent the healing that has been done to have removed themselves from the control of religion enough to be living truthfully in their identity. That is power and freedom.


IRK: Mary Magdalene, or as Wikipedia describes her as "jesus' partner in a sacred marriage" in The Last Queer Supper is trans, why is this important for the message you are delivering?

Barry: This was, let’s say for purposes of this project, divine intervention. We had someone else for our 13th human and about 1-2 weeks before shooting they had to back out. I had met Rylé at Jamal’s flat maybe a month before and I thought of her immediately. It was a lightbulb moment of OMG A BEAUTIFUL TRANS MARY MAGDALENE. It just made sense for representation purposes from identity to ethnicity, and also just to have a trans goddess in the middle, after all, who runs the world? Gurls.


IRK: How does this work serve as a welcoming educational tool for people, not just those in the Queer space?


Barry: I find so often that people politicize the LGBTQIA+ community in a plethora of ways. Some of which pertain to us “forcing our lifestyle” to people. I say, we are. I don’t need anyone’s permission for anything. Not in validating my life, my work, how I dress, where I go or how I navigate this earth. I will happily remain visible to force the normalization of non-conforming people because, guess what, we are here. I believe that everyone is queer and that through years of trauma that then became survival skills, the fluidity of identity was attempted to be eradicated. I am happy to be a reminder that we were always here, we are here at this very moment, all over the world, and we aren’t going anywhere. And the sooner we break free from the religious institutions that advocate against us, the sooner we can rise up as a global community and demand true equality. What does that look like? The freedom to be and express who we are as we are, unapologetically.

IRK: What do you hope people take away from this and bring into their own lives?


Barry: I hope they take time to Pause. Question. Reflect. Look inward. Give yourself permission to remove your ego. Unlearn what you were taught. Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know. Cry. Heal. Then the alignment of intuition will occur and you will begin your pathway to freedom and autonomy.

"The First Queer Supper" Rodrigo Falero, Chris, Charles, Sister Trish, Ovidiu Popescu, Rylé Tuvierra, Barry Brandon, Awad, Jamal, Ash, Nil Alguer, Arash, Jay Jay Revlon ©Barry Brandon.

Interviews from Left to right of the Queer Supper:


IRK: What about The First Queer Supper resonates with you the most?


Rodrigo Falero: The power of community, The idea of bringing together a group of queer individuals to share a meal is powerful. The First Queer Supper shows that when we come together, we can create a space where we can be ourselves, and support each other.


IRK: What about The First Queer Supper resonates with you the most?


Rodrigo Falero: It also highlights the importance of representation. When we see ourselves reflected in the world around us, it helps us to feel seen and validated. It also helps to break down stereotypes and misconceptions about queer people. The First Queer Supper can help to break down barriers and promote understanding and acceptance towards queer individuals. It can also empower and uplift queer individuals, and inspire others to take action and create change in their own communities.


IRK: What about The First Queer Supper resonates with you the most?


Chris: This is a celebration of love and companionship. This is what we wanted to emphasize through our queer depiction of the Last Supper. It represents a blend of individuals within the LGTBQIA+ community coming together to embrace our queerness, our uniqueness, and our strength in numbers. It's bold, it's strong, it's queer power.

It is more important than ever to realize that we as a community are stronger together, supporting one another than dividing each other by “tribes”. Our own personal stories of struggles as queers, bi or trans are so relatable to one another that we should hold hands in unity, and support every identity that embodies LGBTQIA+.


IRK: How do you think this work can help educate and empower people?


Chris: This piece is uniquely empowering as we glorify and celebrate the various members of our LGBTQIA+ community coming together to be our unapologetically authentic selves, without judgment. There is no wrong in showing your true self, and that message should be embraced by all through this piece. We are meant to be loved and adored just the way we are.


IRK: What about The First Queer Supper resonates with you the most?


Charles: I was in a protestant school, I’m not even baptized. I really tried to understand what religion was. I was forced to pray every morning for 3 years. I had a ceremony, I had to sing the lord. But I still didn’t get it. For me, we turn to religion to find answers but the thing is we tried to find a solution outside of ourselves... I learned that nobody can teach you how to behave. Many things in society try to educate you with a moral that is not yours. I think I played this character to deconstruct an image of all of that and send a message of freedom. Jesus talks about love, and love is for everyone and takes different forms and accepts everyone

IRK: How do you think this work can help educate and empower people?


Charles: Art is protest, art is politics and art helps to make light on ideas. This project is a reflection of 2023. We use images to show the struggle with all our lives. And we say, we are here! We accept you as you accept us, and the communication is open. Every human needs to be treated equally. This is a message of peace.


Chris

IRK: What about The First Queer Supper resonates with you the most?


Sister Trish: For me, The First Queer Supper represents a sense of belonging and an open door for all. I grew up in a tight-knit, immigrant catholic family community. there was always a sense of judgment on the binaries of good or bad, virtue or sin, heaven or hell. The first queer supper represents individual, spiritual power, nuance, joy, and love. it holds space with open arms for the full spectrum of humanity. no judgment, no fear, but community and support.

IRK: How do you think this work can help educate and empower people?


Sister Trish: Critics of the last supper comment with religious-based hate or responds with the argument that jesus didn't have a political agenda, that his agenda was to change hearts. However, they prove the very point of inspiration for this work. resisting the status quo, practicing self-love, asserting authenticity, and living in love with community is in fact an act of resistance that is political. In practice, there is no separation of church and state when religious values dictate law. there is no personal authenticity when one doesn't question and critically evaluate tradition and blindly follows what is taught. This art piece is an expression of a collective experience shared by many queer people who face religious-based persecution and violence. The first queer supper comes with an open invitation to reckon with reality and mourn our previously learned value systems to heal and find authenticity.


Rylé Tuvierra

IRK: What about The First Queer Supper resonates with you the most?


Awad: Born muslim, in a jewish country, and raised in a catholic school, religion was always a thing wherever I would go. For me, the question is not whether or not god exists but rather what in what shape does god exist (assuming he does). god is love, acceptance, and tolerance. The first queer supper is about reclaiming a seat at the most famous table there is, unapologetically and firmly. it’s about not asking permission or acceptance and rather owning who I am. whether you like it or not.

IRK: How do you think this work can help educate and empower people?


Awad: Hopefully this work will resonate with people that are seeking validation or acceptance in regards to their sexuality, beliefs or just who they are as humans. Love comes from within, and we should no longer wait for others to accept us for who we are.


Ovidiu Popescu

IRK: What about The First Queer Supper resonates with you the most?


Jamal: It's revolutionary, and mostly a living art installation before anything.


I myself am not religious, but throughout the centuries, religion and religious people portrayed the queer community as evil and against the “teachings of god” which is totally wrong and no proof of such things. We are the children of the stars and have as much right as any human to be, live and express ourselves freely in the society

IRK: How do you think this work can help educate and empower people?


Jamal: This work , apart from its strong artistic value, is a way to shed the light on the community, and reconcíliate religion, queerness and break some boundaries. We need to provoke sometimes in order to empower those of us who need it most.


IRK: What about The First Queer Supper resonates with you the most?


Rylé Tuvierra: It reflects me and my stand to be part of the conversation. Having a voice to represent my fellow girls in the Trans community to shed light on negativity having around. The red colour stands for power and fierceness being a woman without saying anything but being as I am. Woman.

IRK: How do you think this work can help educate and empower people?


Rylé Tuvierra: Creative work and thought provoking visuals with strong characters at this era is a strong message to showcase what we stand for. It allows the audience to think and be curious. That is why many artists, designers, and creatives are using art as a form of communication or stand without making any vulgarity. A sense of pride and creativity entails this creative project we did for the community and a political stand.


IRK: What about The First Queer Supper resonates with you the most?


Ash: For me it's about visibility, and my own relationship with god, religion for me is not black and white I prefer the rainbow version

IRK: How do you think this work can help educate and empower people?


Ash: Someone somehow needs to break those boundaries, people are usually afraid of what they don’t know, and I feel this is a good way to open their eyes


Charles

IRK: What about The First Queer Supper resonates with you the most?


Nil Alguier: Despite the topics, aesthetics, critical thoughts, epigenetics traumas, sexual pleasures, and identity, in this year's changes and accelerations have continued to play together in an unpredictable and utopical game of respect.


Recalls the journey that culminates in The First Queer Supper to show the world we should push down what separates us "the community" to be taken in the world. This is one of the latest variations on the concept of Caravaggio's painting that brings together equity to the world. It's a new departure!

IRK: How do you think this work can help educate and empower people?


Nil Alguier: We and our community have been on a journey where gender recognition is always fluid and free of judgment. It was not only the chance to show the world how a group of human beings from different countries were representing a lure of identified souls. Its main purpose has been to take a close look at the real issues of that gender boundary imposed by religious thoughts, preachers, or government.


It is not about an objective or subjective world. Is about where our time is both shown and spoken of loving every nation and everyone, not for their thoughts proving into the subsoil of what happened and does not happen, what stays and what gets.


I feel tired of this endless, overwhelming humanity having the need to fight for their rights, justified by the thoughts of an old preacher using gospel to infringe fears and using the law against freedom. Because it turns out that we only need safety and reassurance.


Therefore, I'm really proud to have had the opportunity to represent saint matthews one of the twelve apostles of jesus was someone who always recognized his/her flaws and became and own live savior, cause everyone has the chance to reach careless. Once we live with a lack of concern we will become happy.


From what happens here on earth, to when you grow old from the start of birth. Usually, in our normal lives, we are totally isolated from each other. We are not claiming a new beginning, but a desire for a rewritten history, we are rooting to make our heartbeats fall in sync with one another. Time as present, time ahead, wishing time would stand still instead. Thinking what the world could be, if we could not hear and had no eyes to see.

To feel and touch one's human skin, is a wonderful sense and not a sin. We fight for no rejection, god made a creation giving love to every nation with hope and love intention. The future is there to take a chance to jump for joy and make it last.


IRK: What about The First Queer Supper resonates with you the most?


Arash: The expression of love, of what I believe the origins of the story of jesus teaches. Which through organised religion and corruption has been obscured by judgement and persecution.

IRK: How do you think this work can help educate and empower people?


Arash The expression of love, of what I believe the origins of the story of jesus teaches. Which through organized religion and corruption has been obscured by judgment and persecution.



The Queer Coven: @theequeercoven


Left to right:

Rodrigo Falero: @rodrigo_falero

Chris: @brazaco_

Sister Trish: @yoursistertrish

Ovidiu Popescu: @owidius

Rylé Tuvierra: @thefiercewalker

Barry Brandon: @thequeerindigo

Awad: @awad86c

Jamal: @thejimtonic

Nil Alguer: @nilalguer

Arash: @theyardbcn

Jay Jay Revlon: @JayJayRevlon


The Queer Indigo’s Jewelry: @mam

Select Clothing: @enaut__

Ceramic Accessories: @claydecatalina

Delicious Bites: @elpibebcn


Vision + Concept:

Barry Brandon: @thequeerindigo

Sebastián Sommaruga: @sommaruga


Art Direction: Sebastián Sommaruga: @sommaruga

Styling:

Ovidiu Popescu:@owidius

Sebastián Sommaruga: @sommaruga

Barry Brandon: @thequeerindigo

Director of Photography:

Franco: @francodlpd

Art Team:

Camilla Bolart: @camil.labolart

Gaffer:

Belen: @blenxu5

Camera:

Spark:

DMX Controller:

Helga Signes

Lights and Gear provided by Aluzine Rentals @aluzine



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