Elias Sime: Tightrope Exhibition Amsterdam 2019

Posted: Jan, 3rd 2019 Contributor: Bilen Shifferaw,

Elias Sime: Tightrope at GRIMM, Amsterdam

GRIMM presents new and recent work from Elias Sime’s “Tightrope” series at its Frans Halsstraat venue through January 26, 2019. The title of the exhibition as the gallery writes, “Refers to the precarious balance between the advancements that technology has made possible and their detrimental impact on the environment.”

Elias Sime is known to create reliefs featuring repurposed materials including thread, electrical wires, organic materials, and computer detritus. He incorporates the refuse from consumer electronics, repurposing salvaged components such as circuits and keyboards to create abstract compositions and the materials he uses are sourced from the largest open-air market in Africa located in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, where Sime’s practice is based. According to the gallery, “These works present an implicit commentary on the fact that countries in Africa are often the repositories of e-waste imported from elsewhere in the world and they point to the urgency of, and different approaches to, sustainability.”

Sime’s method of constructing elaborate arrangements from ephemera is done through braiding used wires into roiling terrains with biomorphic features and transmuting discarded technology into a more enduring power source- art. “The craftsmanship and seemingly effortless universalism of the works re-frame the iniquitous global processes that have resulted in their formation. His work functions as a prism and kaleidoscope, on the one hand fearlessly aesthetic; on the other, a platform to confront challenging topics, which Sime proposes are not mutually exclusive goals,” writes the gallery.

Deeply involved in developing the Ethiopian art community, Sime has established a research practice studying the ancient rituals of rural communities in the country. In 2002, he co-founded and designed the ZOMA Contemporary Art Center in Addis Ababa, working in cooperation with the founding director, curator and anthropologist Meskerem Assegued.

His work has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY (US); the Studio Museum in Harlem, NY (US); and in 2009, a retrospective of his work travelled from the Santa Monica Museum of Art, CA (US), to the North Dakota Museum of Art, ND (US). A solo exhibition is currently on view at the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art, Clinton, NY (US) until December 9, 2019.


This exhibition is on view from November 23 through January 26, 2019, at GRIMM, Frans Halsstraat 26, 1072 BR Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Gallery Opening Hours

Tue-Sat 11am-6pm


+31 (0)20 - 6 752 465  info@grimmgallery.com

24 November 2018 at 7:00pm - 27 January 2019 at 2:00am
GRIMM, Frans Halsstraat 26, 1072 BR Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Price: FREE
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