‘Data, Disinformation and the Black Experience’ at Guerrero Gallery

December 17, 2018
SF Chronicle

“A Recounting,” a first-time curatorial effort by Elisa Durrette at Guerrero Gallery, is a slow burn. It centers around a standard filing cabinet, open to reveal a neatly ordered rank of folders. Labels in plastic tabs march across the drawer, marking a steady cadence call of phrases. “Public list of citizens on domestic surveillance lists.” “High level officials taking advantage of tax loopholes.” “White children adopted by black parents.” “Native American voting statistics.”

It is a 2018 work called “The Library of Missed Datasets” by Mimi Onuoha, and it slowly unravels to reveal its potent secret, which is that far more is covert in our supposed open society than we might believe.

“Data, Disinformation and the Black Experience” is the subtitle of this small but head-smackingly revelatory exhibition, built of brief selections from the work of seven artists.

Annette Lawrence visually graphs accomplishments and slippages in her journaling routine.

A 2017 work by Sadie Barnette, “Excerpt: My Father’s FBI File, Project III,” consists of altered photocopies. It reveals, bit by bit, the 1960s governmental narrative constructed for a complex man who, in addition to being the artist’s father, was a veteran, an applicant for a Postal Service job, a member of the Black Panther Party and gay.

“A Recounting: Data, Disinformation and the Black Experience”: Noon-6 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays. Through Jan. 5. Free. Guerrero Gallery, 1465 Custer Ave., S.F. 415-400-5168. guerrerogallery.com