Alice Hope

Artist Statement
The used can tab can be looked at from a multiplicity of perspectives – that its proportion is in the Golden Mean like the Parthenon; that it’s a tool – a lever; that it’s trash; that it’s an icon; that it’s an anti-phallus with its equal negative and positive space; that as a floor plan it emulates Renaissance cathedrals with its apse and nave; its ergonomics; its timed obsolescence; its demographically democratic use, but in my work I focus on the used tab as a relic of consumption and as a token for redemption.   

I did a 6 month site-specific installation with more than a million used can tabs on view outside the Queens Museum.  Each of the million tabs in the project represented an individual narrative of production, consumption, collection, and donation, making the project an inadvertently global collaboration. Related to the tradition of Land Art, the Queens Museum installation was intended to be experienced in situ, behind glass that reflected the changing view of the iconic Unisphere, the consistent flow of LaGuardia Airport’s air traffic, and the passers by. This installation initiated my Can Tab Project, reckoning can tab’s fluctuating value and  meaning in continually changing contexts.

Pop Up, in Marfa, Texas, TAB, at Ricco Maresca Gallery, and Surge, at Tripoli Gallery, one person shows, reifies the can tab, both in material and subject, by reframing it’s commodified and cultural status. Context shifts the used can tab from obsolescence to  art; the works exploit the can tab as subject, object, and material.

I weave in and out of transforming and highlighting the tab— as an object and as a subject. Sometimes the work can be experienced without actually knowing what the material is, and sometimes the tab is explicitly present as a subject of the work. In Aeon, the tab was used as a functional unit; it’s unit-ness was useful, personal, additive, maneuverable, tag—able. In the embassy commission the tabs congregate into populations while  individually acting as ‘marks’. Ultimately all my  works are devoted to the tension between Minimalism/Maximalism and numeracy’s hybrid aesthetic. 

Biography
Alice Hope was named 2018 “Woman to Watch” for New York by the National Museum of Women in the Arts. She holds an M.F.A. from Yale University and shows at Ricco Maresca Gallery in Manhattan. Alice has created numerous public and residential commissions, among them a large-scale magnetic installation, “Under the Radar”, in 2012, at Camp Hero State Park in Montauk, NY for the Parrish Art Museum. She often incorporates binary code and repetition in her compositions. In her 2013 Armory Show Project, Alice was commissioned by the Fair to create two public works; one panel innumerably repeated the binary code for the word “love”, and the other repeated the code for “blind”. In 2013, she inaugurated WNYC Greene Space’s new lobby, where she installed a dense site specific work with thousands of neodymium magnets and pieces of ball chain. She was an artist-in-residence at the Museum of Art and Design from 2014-15, and then built a six month site-specific installation outside the Queens Museum with more than a million used can tabs. This work was part of a wider project that reckoned the fluctuating value and meaning of can tabs in continually changing contexts. In 2018, she had a one person show at Guild Hall in East Hampton, NY, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, in Washington, had three of her installations on view. In 2018-19, she initiated an all school/all year social practice piece at Hayground School that culminated in an interactive gallery show. In 2019, she was commissioned by Art in Embassies to build an installation, with hundreds of thousands of used can tabs and marine netting, for the new U.S. Embassy lobby in Maputo, Mozambique that will be installed in 2020. In 2020, she had a one person show and residency in Tripoli Gallery’s new space in Wainscott, NY; also in 2020 she will be showing in Ricco Maresca’s new space in New York City.

collaboration with Soren Hope