LINKS TO SELECT PRESS:

 

“In its revelatory capacity, Compland embarrasses current center-liberal fantasies of the deep state as a beneficent and redemptive force in American politics. It also forces a confrontation between art’s communicative and abstracting potencies, between depth and surface, opacity and iridescence.”

"Sadie Barnette’s reworking of the files that the FBI had covertly kept for years on her father resembles an act of vandalism—an invaded home, reshuffled and spattered and spilled-on papers—as much as it does a daughter’s loving, slightly coy stamp on the typewritten documentation of her father’s life."

"In this project, Sadie, who works in photography, drawing, installation, and bookmaking, located a means of exploring her own identity and family history that builds on her larger practice. Barnette’s work explores every day mundanity but identifies those moments that make the ordinary extraordinary, or even extra-terrestrial. The documents are literally a day to day recollection of Rodney’s activities, but they also illustrate a man imbued with the strength to continue to fight for what he believes."

“You could say that Sadie Barnette was destined for work that requires action. The 32-year-old visual artist is the daughter of parents who have dedicated their lives to workers.”

“Do Not Destroy’s central–and most breath-taking–installation is My Father’s FBI File, Project II, which consists of rows upon rows of papers from the 500-page FBI file. Rather than merely appropriating these papers, Barnette scattered glittery girlie decals and rhinestones on a selection of documents, as well as sprayed bursts of pink aerosol paint in random splashes and splotches.”

“Rene de Guzman, who curated All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50, said the exhibit is a way to reclaim and explain a movement that is often viewed as simply ‘black men with guns. What we’re offering is a more complete picture.’ Sadie Barnette’s work is also a kind of restoration, a way to take her father’s story back from the government and embrace it in her own fashion.”

“When I think about your work, I think about specificity. You’ve talked about specificity as universal—specifics as the universal experiences of things—as opposed to exceptional, which is what happens particularly in relation to “marginal” stories and situations. That is, these stories are somehow perceived as exceptional or different, which assumes that there is some other “real” universal out there. I often feel that you’re making a claim for your experience—your life, your family, how you spend your time, what you’re interested in—as universal.”