Sadie Barnette’s Untitled (Dad, 1968) (2016) shows her father in his 1960s Black Panthers uniform
A revolutionary chapter in US history is revealed in Do Not Destroy (until 18 February) at New York’s Baxter Street Gallery. The artist Sadie Barnette used a 500-page FBI surveillance file on her father, Rodney Barnette, a founder of the Black Panther Party’s Compton, California, chapter in 1968, for the new work in her solo show. The installation My Father’s FBI File: Part II (2016) shows pages that the artist has altered with pink spray paint, rhinestones and the redacted names of ten informants, stamping on the front: “Historical Value/Do Not Destroy”. Another work pairs two blown-up 1960s Polaroid pictures of the artist’s father: one showing the newly drafted 21-year-old in an army uniform and medals, the other depicting him in the Panthers’ uniform of leather jacket and black beret. Rodney Barnette says it is “kind of liberating for me to finally see the thorough and intense monitoring and spying and attempts to disrupt the black liberation movement”.