Sydney Cain, aka sage stargate, was born and raised in San Francisco. Their multimedia work is largely on paper using dye, graphite, powdered metals, and chalk as emblems of impermanence and transformation. They investigate remembrance, evolution and spirituality from their perspective as a queer Black woman. Their current work is founded on genealogy research alongside the effects of urban renewal/colonialism and threats against Black afterlives.
“Refutations” is an ongoing body of work exploring ancestral memory and the power of collective Black mythos. The project consists of multiple series, which include artworks, publications, and exhibitions emerging from my personal genealogy research. Alongside this process, I utilize documentation in the form of photography, drawing, and printmaking to illicit ghostly remembrances of past and present. The choice of material, such as powdered metals and chalk, creates a play between figurative representation and ephemerality. Realized through a reductive drawing technique, narratives of resistance against erasure are used to celebrate metamorphoses that occur in the voids of invisibility. This invisibilized space is not impermeable, but is instead visible and entered only by the initiated. Figures in the work welcome viewers into the voids to see beyond our immediate circumstances, pushing us to reimagine freedom from Black afterlives all the way back to Black births. “Refutations” is an exploration – probing at both the perimeters of existence as well as the imaginative landscapes of nonexistence.