Alex Ben Abba

Always On Our Plate

February 24, 2014 to February 28, 2014

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Slag Gallery is pleased to present Always on Our Plate, a solo exhibition and performance by Alexandra Ben-Abba.

“Always on Our Plate , is one part of my ongoing investigation into the uncertainty, aggression and helplessness often felt during times of conflict. Focusing specifically on Israel/Palestine, the work manifests in numerous iterations as it wrestles with questions of identity, nationality and geographic displacement. The stage for this exploration is a dining table set with a traditional Israeli meal. People gather, eat and make small talk. Seemingly mundane, the piece becomes haunting when viewers notice the gnarled images etched into the plates and the shards of glass, stone and cement impinging upon the food the company shares. Appearing as performance, video, sculpture and installation, Always on Our Plate offers numerous means for engaging with the conflict as well as the nuances of each artistic medium.”

“For this second staging of Always On Our Plate series, the artist invites the public to watch and listen as a group of artists, curators and art critics eat off of her hazardous dinnerware. Assembled with a combination of hand-blown, purchased, and gifted glass and ceramics, Always on Our Plate grew out of Ben-Abba’s method of processing ideas through exploring material relationships. She juxtaposes green and brown vessels blown at a glass factory in the Palestinian city of Hebron with elements of the official Israeli Defense Forces uniform, made of the same colors. Tacks with pointed-side up menacingly aggregate while thick clumps of cement mimic the impenetrability of the barriers between Israel and Palestine. The tactile effects of Ben-Abba’s materials can feel threatening, but her work offers a beauty and vulnerability one can only imagine was born out of navigating a life under conflict.”

Rebecca Pristoop

Independent Curator and Art Writer

Ben-Abba received her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (2011) and her BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design (2006).

Selected Exhibitions

LaunchPad, Fragile Territories, New York NY

Opera Gallery, B'Aliya, New York NY

Greenpoint Film Festival, Body and Material, New York NY
Prague Festival/4, Galerie Pokorna, Prague CZ

Museum of Art, Video Art Screening, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence RI
RISD MFA Thesis exhibition, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence RI
Hyperopia Projects, Superposition Exhibition, Seattle WA
Gelman Gallery, 2011 New Contemporaries Exhibition, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence RI
Gelman Gallery, Break it Down, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence RI
Eretz Israel Museum, Israeli Glass 2011, Tel Aviv, Israel

How Is This Glass, Heller Gallery, New York NY