"On View: Jessica Diamond, Connie Hatch, Group Material"
April 12 - June 12 1986
Jessica Diamond, “Helpless Peabrain ”

SO “Through spare, cartoonlike drawings, Jessica Diamond touches on the innate pathos and frailty of the human condition. Her central character, the helpless peabrain, is a seemingly mindless cipher suggesting frustration, insignificance, and loss which represent the deadening effects of mass society. Though the drawings may seem like a sardonic put-down, Diamond’s deadpan humor mixes the sad with the funny, the insightful with the banal, the universal with the everyday.”1

Connie Hatch, “Serving the Status Quo” [Thursday May 22nd, 1986]

Connie Hatch’s three-part audio-slide projection examines a group of workers from different social and racial backgrounds. As a challenge to traditional documentary photography, the project explores the problems of representation from a sociopolitical perspective.

“In this three-part audio-slide projection, photographer Connie Hatch looks at the lives of several workers from various social classes and backgrounds. Their voices, displaced over the ruined sequence of their ‘stories,’ reveal the anxieties created by money, exploitation, work and sexual identity formation. This project challenges conventional notions of documentary photography and examines the relationship between representation and the politics of everyday life.” Established in 1979, Group Material is a New York City-based organization of artists (Julie Ault, Mundy McLaughlin, Tim Rollins, and Doug Ashford) dedicated to producing and exhibiting work that questions conventional ideas of art and where art should be displayed. The exhibition “MASS” consisted of hundreds of artworks of the same size and shape reconfigured to form the word MASS.

[AWKWARD] “One morning, Group Material woke up with a dream fresh on its mind. The dream took place in a large white room. There were hundreds of pieces of artwork, all the same size and shape, each one by a different artist. Group Material began experimenting with the pieces, making various configurations and found they all fit together to form one word. The word MASS.” 1

1The New Museum’s Calendar, 1986.
New Museum curator
Courtesy the Artist and New Museum Archive