COME TO CHURCH

Come to Church is a performative art piece and social commentary that explores overstimulation, ableism, and the mental health consequences of abuse in different forms. It also explores confessions of sins Brennen is sorry for, so-called sins he is not sorry for, grief, and neurodiversity education.

Brennen Cabrera (Dimitri Bellrock) covered in filth and wearing a black robe enters a church-like environment of found objects, flooded in red light, and rumbling sound from speakers shaking the entire space. The audience present was neurodiverse, neurotypical, and ableist. Dimitri sits in a tire that represents a pulpit, pulls out a microphone, and reads a bizarre, disorganized, and emotionally fluctuating sermon. The lights soon start to pulsate and change colors. This sermon confessed sins Brennen is sorry for along with so-called sins he is not sorry for. It also recalled ableist situations as well as mental and physical abuse he has found himself in while also mentioning his disgust with what he sees in the media and the harm to people in his life. Lastly, he mixes neurodiversity information, grief, and bouts of what looks to be a rageful and rebellious mentality against the harmful structures.

Brennen ends the sermon with the lord’s prayer and unrobes. The noise gets louder and the lights start pulsating quicky, dark to light, warm white to cold white. He lifts up the tire and rolls it away and proceeds to walk down a chainlink aisle to undulled barbed wire and a rope. He picks up the barbed wire and wraps it around his eyes, puts the rope around his shoulders, and walks back down the aisle to canvas in front of him. The canvas he confronts is covered in ableist dialogue. He dips the rope in fake blood, whips his back, and returns the blow to the canvas leaving a print. He does this over and over. Lashes seem flimsy at first but pick up. After spending time with the rope, he pulls out an electric wire from behind the canvas and starts back to flagellating. He switches between the two multiple times. The barbed wire came loose during the routine which heightened the risk. The rope started getting caught and at one point pulled at the wire making it twist around Brennen’s eyes.

At midnight he ceased beating and transferring, stood up, and walked back down the aisle covered in blood and half of his head and neck in a spiral spiked metal cage.

This is a compilation of video excerpts and additional photography of the performance. Audio has been censored in some areas. There will be an opportunity to view an extended version with uncut voice in the future. (This video contains nudity, language disturbing imagery, distress, suggestive content, blood, flagellation, and flashing lights.)

Special thanks to:

Documentation: Bill French (Photography) Karlos Dickerson and Hannah DeWitt (Phone Video)

Lighting and Sound Control: Mags Fitzmaurice