57hope / by Colin Keefe

logo I’ve been doing a little archeology on stuff from the 90s.  At some point around 2003 or so I lost the diskette or whatever where I had the 57hope website archived, and assumed it was gone for good.

Not so.  Archive.org’s Wayback Machine had a snapshot from around 1997!

I’ve been scrubbing the HTML of archive.org code, and a bunch of the image content never got archived...but here it is in all its broken, amateur 1997 splendor:

57 Hope Gallery

Images are pretty much hosed, but one show  - The Art Exchange Show in 1997 - is wholly intact (frames and all!).

57hope was a small space inside the warehouse on Hope Street just off Havemeyer in Williamsburg Brooklyn.  A bunch of my friends (Amy, Mary, Stephan, Cynthia, Shannon) and I ran it for about 3 years.  It’s about what you would expect from kids in their mid-20s - raw, uneven, haphazard, but with some gems.

We never curated our own shows.  The space’s MO was that we “curated curators”.  We gave early curatorial opportunities to people who would go on to run White Columns, Petzel, LA Contemporary Exhibitions, and it was just a hell of a lot of fun. The funny thing about the 90’s is that because it happened at the dawn of the internet, a lot of what transpired now feels like it happened in a different century.

Which I guess it did.

Our last show was October 2000, after which we were evicted.

It lived here: [codepeople-post-map]

Back then I paid $100 a month or so for my share of the loft.  Now you can pay $3050 a month for the privilege.  The first floor, where a rag trade company used to bundle castoff clothing for shipping to Mexico, now looks like this:

57hopelobby

Manny, the super, used to yell at the guys who ran this place when he wasn’t yelling at the Chinese guys across the street, sitting in his “office” covered in porn pinups, or taking bribes to run the elevator.

I’m trying to imagine Manny in this lobby today and my brain is hurting.

In related archeology: you can find the archived website for Rome Arts, a gallery that Daniel Carello ran around the corner from us, on the original designer’s website, here: http://www.maxmayhew.com/rome_arts/.  Daniel gave me my first solo show, which got me my first (and only) review in the New York Times.