Sadie Barnette’s multimedia practice explores her own family history as it mirrors a collective history of repression and resistance in the United States. Fascinated with the personal and political value of kin, her work highlights the love and humanity cultivated in familial spaces. Barnette reanimates an alternate history of Black America, one shaped by state-sanctioned terror but also by love, celebration, and the fullness of human relationships. Sadie Barnette: Family Business brings together a selection of photographs, drawings, and sculptures around a newly commissioned video, which consider the living room as a site of freedom.
Sadie Barnette: Family Business is a multi-sited exhibition, taking place at Institute of the Arts and Sciences at UC Santa Cruz (IAS) and SJMA, and co-organized by UCSC Professor Gina Dent, SJMA chief curator Lauren Schell Dickens, and Dr. Rachel Nelson, director of IAS. It is commissioned as part of Visualizing Abolition, an ongoing initiative exploring art, prisons, and justice, collaboratively organized by the Institute of the Arts and Sciences at University of California, Santa Cruz and San José Museum of Art. Sadie Barnette: Family Business opens at the IAS on April 28 and will be on view through September 3, 2023.