THE DISOBEDIENCES, a solo exhibition by artist Elsa Leydier (1988, FR), refers to acts of resistance against the status quo. It challenges conventional norms and practices that perpetuate the exploitation of nature and women. With ecofeminism at the core of this presentation, it emphasises the need for ecological balance and gender equality. The movement questions the hierarchical structures of society and envisions a world free from oppression and domination. THE DISOBEDIENCES presents five distinct projects, all echoing ecofeminism — FLORA BRASILIENSIS 3.0, LES MARQUES, INFINITA, ALWAYS FREEDOM, and LUT-O-A — that collectively weave a network of resistance and hope.
In FLORA BRASILIENSIS 3.0, Leydier confronts dominant imagery that shaped the Western perception of Brazil, where the artist lives and works part of the year. She reinterprets Flora Brasiliensis, a 19th-century extensive encyclopedia from European writers, and digitally intervenes on photographs of plants. All this to underline the gaps and shifts inevitably generated by our attempts to represent nature. LES MARQUES addresses the commodification and objectification of women's bodies. The artworks are alive, with plants growing through the pages of so-called ‘women's magazines’. The work refers to the influence of capitalism on the environment and the female body, and advocates for freedom.
INFINITA reflects on self-empowerment and liberation from societal expectations of female beauty. Leydier intervenes on photographs of her own body, using painting, collage, and drawing. By avoiding digital retouching, she metaphorically rejects the construct of a standardised female image propagated by the visual culture. It is this appropriation of women's bodies that Elsa Leydier also denounces in ALWAYS FREEDOM.
LUT-O-A is a feministic street collage project practiced by a collective founded by Elsa Leydier in Brazil. The photographs of the threatened Atlantic forest are juxtaposed with pages of decrees authorising deforestation, symbolising the struggle against capitalist projects that destroy ecosystems. In a feminist gesture, the A4-sized documents are modified with black-painted letters, transforming the Portuguese word for mourning "luto" into "luta," meaning "fight."