"Classified: Big Pages from the Heresies Collective"
June 11 - July 20 1983
For the second set of exhibitions in the series “Events,” the artist groups En Foco and Heresies Collective were invited to organize their own exhibitions in the New Museum with the aim of exposing the public to work that was at the time understood to be outside “the cultural and aesthetic mainstream.”
Heresies Collective was formed in 1976 as a publishing collective. Using its journal of the same name to promote a dialogue about politics and art from a feminist point of view, Heresies organized its exhibition as a visual translation of their issue, Mothers, Mags, and Movie Stars. Several members of the collective turned the New Museum’s galleries into a walk-in magazine, where the walls displayed a series of giant 6’ X 8’ pages of various mediums in the form of collaged cut-outs.
“The beginning of our editorial statement, published in each issue, summarizes our concerns: We believe that what is commonly called art can have a political impact, and that in the making of art and of all cultural artifacts our identities as women play a distinct role. We hope that Heresieswill stimulate dialogue around radical political and aesthetic theory as well as generate new creative energies among women. It will be a place where diversity can be articulated. We are committed to broadening the definition and function of art.” 1
“What first motivated The New Museum to organize ‘Events’ was a response to the fact that museums traditionally insist upon complete curatorial autonomy in their exhibition policies, thus assuring that museum standards of ‘quality’ are maintained. This is problematic only in that there is no single standard of quality, unless it is assumed that the mainstream standard—that is, one which is white, upper middle class, educated, and urban—is the correct one. Other cultures and traditions, other political and spiritual convictions, other ideas about what art is and the audience which it serves, create other standards of quality, which are generally ignored or rejected by the mainstream.
‘Events’ is, for us, one of the most exciting exhibitions of the year, since it gives us an opportunity to work with artists in a manner determined entirely by them and to see our space used and transformed in often surprising and felicitous ways. It also gives us a chance to become familiar with work which we might not otherwise have access to, and to provide a forum for dialog which is fundamental to the New Museum’s purpose.” 2
Courtesy the artist and New Museum, New York