March 5, 2020 – April 15 2020




Sophie Bonet
guest curator: Carol-Anne McFarlane



(DIS)OBEDIENT is the result of months-long investigations that lead to creative collaboration. This exhibition is a visual representation of what women are realizing our current fractured reality.

Curated by ArtServe Chief Curator Sophie Bonet and multidisciplinary artist and activist Carol-Anne McFarlane, (DIS)OBEDIENT explores the issue of gender inequality through visual and performing arts. (DIS)OBEDIENT offers commentary on topics ranging from wage disparities and exploitative advertising to underrepresentation in the art world and more.



Linda’s interest in shapes manifests itself through a variety of media, while seeking to bring forward the contradictions between the society’s expectations and an individual’s sense of self. Her focus is on women and the stark standards that have been established for a woman’s appearance. Linda believes you are what you create, as much as you are what you perform. Her goal is to create images that echo the past, confront the present, and embrace the future.

Fernanda’s work reflects every part of her, even the parts she is not fully aware of. She found a way to voice her thoughts, combining her photography and writing skills. Her personal experiences and pain have taught her the best cure is to communicate mostly with like-minded people. This connection keeps her motivated creating. Through her art, she calls attention to diversity in different shapes, ages, and ethnicities.

Vanta believes everything about a black woman is micromanaged to make others feel more comfortable occupying the same space. She believes black women’s hair, style of dress and even style of speech must be a certain way. She feels black women’s uniqueness is heavily criticized, yet they remain invisible and she champions for their stories to be told.
Gillian is Jamaican born, living in Canada and the United States, inspired by the traditional practices of the Adinkra tribeswomen and their influences in the Jamaican culture.
As a child, Marilyn traveled with her family to Japan visiting friends who introduced her to Japanese folk traditions, language, origami, and customs. Drawing on both elements taken from origami paper folding, the Fortune Teller form, and the multiple meanings of the Adinkra cloth, the hand-sewn, the sculptural book becomes a unique adaptation of folk traditions.
Sibel’s focus is the role of women supporting the traditions which suppress them, specifically traditions where women are physically and symbolically covered and hidden. Her culture encouraged the shame and concealment of women and girls. She believes women have become accustomed to this “disidentification,” which is sometimes unconsciously passed to the next generation by women. Women teach their children to fear their fathers, suppressing their identity. She wonders why women’s bodies are still at the center of cultural taboos. She feels women’s rights are under attack in developed countries as well, and she wants to advocate for all women.
International award-winning photographer, Liesa Cole, has embraced a challenging new medium for the expression of her work. Liesa illuminates direct quotes from Donald Trump and allows the provocative words to speak for themselves, radiating from fragile glass vessels, shaped by fire, in a medium (neon signage) whose express purpose is to deliver a message that is not easily ignored. It is her sincere hope that once rendered and presented to the public in this bold fashion, the searing language will provoke reflection and rejection and to reclaim a collective moral compass that values dignity, respect and truth. At the very least, she hopes it will be harder to turn a blind eye.
Lisa has a love-hate relationship with American pop culture. She is attracted to the saccharine manifestations of visual media yet driven to expose and subvert the manufactured falsehoods that are inherent within the marketed imagery.

Her current work playfully hacks and manipulates existing imagery to chip away at façades, reinvent archetypes and create new mythologies, while investigating prescribed notions of gender, virtue, glamour, innocence, and power hierarchies that exist in contemporary culture.

Doris’ continuous body of work is about today’s women: Eager to begin new endeavors, following their own intuition, and believing they are strong. And even despite being able to accomplish this, women are still bombarded with obstacles. The “Multiples” projects are intended to question and reconsider these influences by raising awareness and lifting spirits through works that showcase the sublime beauty of being a female, capable of enhancing women’s power and self-esteem.
Khaulah believes it is crucial to address the complexities of being a black woman navigating social systems that are deliberately designed to be oppressive. Her work is a celebratory acknowledgment of the labor black women do to survive and thrive beyond barriers. The pieces are intersectional and are relevant to all marginalized groups. These works foster conversation around issues some find difficult to publicly address. This encourages communal understanding and empathy, inspiring people to be good citizens.
To Sonia, art is like a spiritual exercise that guides her to ponder subjectivity and social justice. In April 2001, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She started documenting her experiences with body modification to envision a creative map that would help her endure the suffering. In 2003, she abandoned her body as an inspiration and introduced Barbie dolls. She deployed multiple strategies to testify about becoming a woman, a warrior, and an artist.
Artbee portrays South Sudanese models in the high fashion industry, redefining the standard of beauty with their rich dark skin tones. She wants her viewers to see the hues beyond the black and brown in their skin tones and eyes. The fantasy fish around them represents beauty and femininity. For many years, having dark skin with dark eyes was not considered a beauty norm. Currently, unconventionally beautiful models are challenging that standard.
Bonnie was eavesdropping on a small group of people talking, in a clay studio where she studied. She was listening to a man complain that his wife wouldn’t have sex with him. As she listened to him, she thought about his wife, whom she had never met. She immediately sympathized with her, not him. Bonnie’s hands got busy and almost before she realized what happened, this sculpture emerged. It’s a man and woman in a relationship. The man is much larger than the woman, not supporting his weight, leaning on the “little woman”. Historically, women’s role in the world has been to stand by and support men. Any self-identity or self-interest has been considered unwomanly are immoral. This sculpture is a statement on an important consciousness that precedes a woman’s awakening.
Niki’s work, A Hero’s Journey, shares an internal dialogue of a personal journey, internal process, and growth from being a victim to survivor to thriver. There is no timeline, there is no right or wrong answer. There is nothing that can change the past, however, you can dig deep, and undercover the wounds and start to mend. When we do, we shift, we grow, we shine, we have the power to help another on their journey.
Story-building and developing characters of her own is the core of Zipporah’s passion for producing art, especially within a setting inspired by the subjects’ moods.

In her series, she didn’t want to just illustrate strong women but also show characters representing girls with real issues in Asia and Africa, where they strive to make something of themselves despite the very fabric holding their community together works against them.

Melissa’s journey has led her on the continuous path of self-love and women’s empowerment. She has spent many years lacking confidence, not realizing she had the power to do something about it. A first visit to a nude beach in Greece was her “a-ha” moment that led her on a lifelong journey of cultivating self-love, acceptance and body positivity. She dove deep into herself uncovering and healing self-afflicted and ancestral wounds. Discovering artistic photography was one of the turning points in her life, sparking a shift that ignited her desire within to be a guiding light for other women to see their beauty inside and out and to reach their empowered state of being, and The Unleashed Project was conceived.

At the age of 7, Lori was the “fearless, jump from the highest step, climb the biggest tree, scraped knees, no one messes with me” kind of kid. One day, suddenly, she became afraid of everything. She supposes it was because the steps she used to jump from also led to the house where she never felt good enough. Her accomplishments seemed insignificant and her dreams were dismissed. Despite this, she felt lucky because a handful of special people in her life recognized her thoughts and dreams and validated her ideas. They believed in her, keeping her hope alive. Lori believes it is time we notice what makes every girl extraordinary, because every day a girl or woman is left unnoticed, it is a day too long.
Born in 1986 in Chile, Claudia is a Brooklyn-based artist who works primarily painting and making videos. Bitran holds an MFA in Painting from Rhode Island School of Design and a BFA from the Universidad Catolica de Chile.

She has recently shown at Postmasters Gallery, Cindy Rucker Gallery, Practice Gallery, at the Brooklyn Bridge Park, at Roswell Museum and Art Center, at Matucana 100, Museo de Artes Visuales in Santiago, Chile, among many other venues.

In 2020 Bitran will be an artist in residence at Pioneer works NY and has previously held residencies at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program, Smack Mellon Studio Program, and at outpost Projects. Bitran currently teaches in the Painting Departments at Pratt Institute and Rhode Island School of Design.

Rebecca Goyette’s latest film, Crustacean Temptation, was created in Berlin, with support from the curatorial team EVBG. The film is an experimental travel sex videocast partially on Tinder and follows the group romp of predominantly young singles from Berlin’s club and LGBTQ kink scenes coerced into a co-created space of chemistry, leisure sports and lickable delectables where Goyette’s sadomasochistic Lobsta Labia avatar rules all. Goyette remarks, “When we meet strangers and come together to perform in an orgiastic, pleasure-centered way, the chance for surprise, chemistry, and a co-created fantasy space can develop.”
Katie Cercone “High Prieztezz or Nah” is a visionary artist, scribe, prieztezz and spiritual gangsta hailing from the blessed coast. Cercone has performed or shown work in exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, Bronx Museum, Dallas Contemporary, Momenta Art, C24 Gallery, Changjiang Museum China, Dodge Gallery and Aljira Center for Contemporary Art.

She has published critical writing in ART PAPERS, White-hot, Posture, Brooklyn Rail, hysteria, Bitch Magazine, Utne Reader and N.Paradoxa. Her work has been featured in Dazed, MILk, Interview, Japan Times, Huffington Post, ART 21, hyperallergic, PAPER, Art Fag City, Washington Post, and Art-Net TV among others. Cercone has curated shows for Momenta Art, kARST (Uk), Cue Art Foundation, Local Project and NurtureArt. Cercone is an adjunct faculty at the School of Visual Arts where she teaches GENDER TROUBLE in the Visual & Critical Studies Department.

Born in 1988 in Guaratingueta, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Luiza lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Prado is a transdisciplinary artist. Her research examines the artistic intercession in cognitive and neural systems, specifically using photography, noise, and performance. She speculates on the rescue of molecular memory and psychological treatments of traumas, using the same experiments related to physics and electroacoustic, beginning from the theory of the “camera obscura”.

Working in the field of arts since 2012, she has exhibited her works in fairs such as Scope Miami and Stroke Art Fair, as well as exhibitions in Brazil and Latin America, as well as in Portugal, Spain, and Germany, among others. Her work is in several public collections such as the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Bogota and the Museo Municipal de Arte Contemporaneo de Cusco, Peru.

Leah Schrager is a digital artist and online performer. She is the model, photographer, artist, and marketer in and of her images. Her visual works apply a painterly aesthetic to bodily forms and often draw their material from her conceptual online practice. Her online performances are @onaArtist (Instagram 3m) and Sarah White (The Naked Therapist). With these performances, Schrager explores themes of sexuality, representation, and distribution. Her practice is situated in a contemporary hotbed of female (in) appropriateness, arousal, celebrity, fandom, and commercialism that seeks to explore female biography and labor in today’s global society.
Born in 1990, Michelle Marie Charles employs a sociological consciousness to convert her embodiment and neighborhood surroundings into symbolic sites for exploring the politics of meaning-making. Using digital photography and video as mediums, she examines the intrinsic and extrinsic implications of her black female body and the working-class community of color (Southeast Queens) she hails from.
Damali Abrams, the Glitter Priestess, is a New York City-based artist, reiki practitioner, and adjunct professor at York College. Damali attended the Whitney Independent Study Program and earned her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and her BA from New York University.

Damali is a current Creative-In-Residence at Brooklyn Public Library. She is a recipient of the Queens Council on the Arts New Works Grant. She has been a fellow at Culture Push, the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, A.I.R. Gallery, and apexart in Seoul, South Korea.

Damali has also been an Artist-in-Residence at Fresh Milk in Barbados, Groundation Grenada, The Center for Book Arts, Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL), and LMCC on Governors Island. Damali has presented her work at School of Visual Art (SVA), Sonoma State University, Soho house, UConn Stamford, Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), Barbados Community College, New York University (NYU), SUNY Purchase, Hunter College School of Social Work, and Syracuse University’s 601 Tully.

Narcissister employs a spectacle-rich approach to explorations of gender, racial identity, and sexuality. Humor, pop songs, elaborate costumes, contemporary dance, and her trademark mask are her tools in deconstructing stereotypical representations. By opening up and turning against themselves what Stuart Hall calls “fixed and closed stereotypical representations,” Narcissister exposes, in live performance, video, and photography, the practice of representation itself, and challenges the audience to question its attraction and repulsion.

Narcissister questions fetishism, particularly sexual fetishism, which is notorious in its fixing of racist and gendering stereotypes. Rather than abandon this contaminated site, Narcissister dives headlong into the muck, into the depths of the fantasy and fetish itself, to expose and deconstruct their power. Intervening in the exchange between the image and its psychic meaning uncovers the collective fantasies with which we invest these images, and forces representation open.

At the age of 5, Trish realized that she was being discriminated against because she was female. All the adults in her world denied this, and it became a turning point in her life, because she knew she was right. This caused her to become “disobedient.” This forced her to reject the values she was surrounded with and look at the world differently. Her artwork is designed to reflect how she looks at the world in a different, feminist way.
Carol-Anne McFarlane believes art is empowering.

She believes in action towards social reconstruction and a world of self-examination leads to self–improvement, and empowerment.
She wants all of us to be more conscious of social manipulation and its long-term effects.
Carol-Anne McFarlane creates artwork that brings this consciousness to the forefront so people can be intentional when responding to what we experience in the world.

McFarlane has exhibited in Atlanta, Baltimore, New Orleans, New York, Des Plaines, Kansas City, London, and in various cities in South Florida. her writing was published in an issue of Girls Get Busy, a Uk zine about feminist artists. McFarlane’s work was in SELECT Art Fair in 2014 and in a segment of the Real Housewives of New York. McFarlane was a guest artist on ARTGirlTV in 2015. Recently, McFarlane was on a panel discussion about art and sexuality at the Beaver exhibition in New York, and in the Intersectionalityshow at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami. The Self-Reflectionshow in New York, lead to McFarlane being covered in the Huffington Post and Vice. In October 2016, McFarlane was shown in the outer Space show in London, Uk.

McFarlane is in Beaver, the Exhibition curated by Naomi Ramirez. This collection of 20 artists is the fourth iteration of the Beaver Exhibition Event. A group exhibition that brings together artists who delve into feminist perspectives on pornography, gender performance, and female sexual self-expression through visual art is currently available for pre-order and ships in June 2020.
McFarlane was born in Fort Lauderdale, to Jamaican parents. She attended the Atlanta College of Art and graduated with a BFA in Illustration. She was a Resident Artist at the Lauderhill Arts Center for 6 years.

Protecting Our Children

Marilyn first became involved in fighting child abuse in 1980. Despite no one talking about child abuse then, Marilyn and her friend rallied local women in St. Petersburg, FL to form an active group to address the topic. They named it Infinity The League to Aid Abused Children and Adults, Inc.
In 1983 her family moved to Fort Myers, FL. Some of her friends in Fort Myers encouraged her to start something similar there to continue the effort, and Concerned Citizens for Sexually Abused Children, Inc. was founded. They were a board of men and women in the community. They organized a puppet show which they took to pre-schools to enable children to open up about sexual abuse. Parents became more aware of their children’s activities as well as their interactions with strangers.

The project “Mirror Mirror” emphasizes the women who are facing themselves and each other’s inner and outer awareness. We will embrace the new word “Equalism” and the concept of supporting all people in their struggles.