In 1980, the New Museum initiated Events, an exhibition series in which artists’ groups were invited to organize and present their own exhibitions. The series challenged standard museum practice by relinquishing curatorial control over both its space and the publication of accompanying catalogues.
The first of these exhibitions, “Events: Fashion Moda, Taller Boricua, Artists Invite Artists,” opened in December of 1980 and comprised three consecutive installations, each running for approximately one month. The first two installations, Events: “Fashion Moda” and Events: “Taller Boricua” were organized by artists’ organizations that were devoted to work by artists and community members from the South Bronx and the Puerto Rican Workshop, headquartered in the Museo del Barrio, respectively. Events: “Artists Invite Artists,” evolved out of the Minorities Dialogue Series, a bi-monthly discussion group organized by the New Museum. For this third installation, the Museum invited twelve artists from the Minorities Dialogue membership to present two artists each.
Events: “En Foco and Heresies Collective,” the second exhibition in the Events series, followed a similar format, with the Museum inviting two diverse artist groups to organize exhibitions of their choosing. Running concurrently from June 11 through July 20, 1983, the installations presented works which served as counterpoints to the cultural and aesthetic mainstream. Heresies, the publishing collective responsible for feminist Heresies journal, produced a walk-around magazine entitled Classified: Big Pages By the Heresies Collective. Based on the journal issue “Mothers, Mags and Movie Stars,” the installation juxtaposed depictions of motherhood in the media with candid images from women’s lives. En Foco, a Bronx-based arts nonprofit, organized “La Gran Pasión,” a photography exhibition that presented powerful visual documents of Hispanic-American life. Rooted in a distinct sense of heritage, the exhibition offered perspectives outside of prevalent non-Hispanic depictions of the Latino experience.
1980 – 1983