When Pope Francis derogatorily took on the culture of modern gender-reassignment technologies and deemed them a part of a “utopia of the neutral” in a 2017 speech, Denver artist and Cabal Gallery member Mar Williams decided to strike back.
“I could only think, ‘The Vatican says things about trans people?’ It made me realize that in between the extremes, there are real things we can talk about. But from my perspective on the edges of complete radical acceptance, that discussion in between sounded like a crazy utopian novel.”
All the better, Williams adds, to demonstrate how the trans community is no less diverse than the general populace, and that in the long run, Utopia of the Neutral isn’t about asking for permission to be queer. It’s about sharing a slice of trans/non-binary life, as is, and Williams thinks it can also be a fun way to get people talking, unimpeded by thoughts about what is and isn’t normal. Trans people aren’t intrinsically scary or weird, after all — they’re people: “I think it’s the beginning of an empathetic discussion, where we let people see artwork that’s very personal. It might move them to have a better conversation.
Utopia of the Neutral opens Saturday, January 13, with a reception from 6 to 10 p.m. at Cabal Gallery, 1875 South Broadway. The exhibit includes artwork by Frankie Toan, Kenzie Sitterud, Hart Krypilo, K. Bullington, Billie and Mar Williams, with music by Selene Wellington, Bonnie Finley and the Sad Little Queers. Learn more at the Cabal Gallery website or on the Facebook event page.