April 22, 2021

Elias Sime at James Cohan Gallery

In Elias Sime’s current exhibit TIGHTROPE: ECHO!?, at James Cohan Gallery, he explores the effectiveness of human communication through his signature usage of electronic materials
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About the Exhibit - TIGHTROPE: ECHO!?

I can always spot an Elias Sime work by his use of electronic materials. It may make me more nostalgic than others given I work in the tech space and have a love of art to see how he transforms circuit boards and computer keys into these incredibly beautiful works of art.

Elias Sime at James Cohan Gallery
Elias Sime at James Cohan Gallery
Elias Sime at James Cohan Gallery
Elias Sime at James Cohan Gallery

But his use of these materials speaks to an even deeper meaning...one of how we connect as humans, how we communicate in this day and age. 

“[The materials Sime uses] suggest the tenuousness of our interconnected world, alluding to the frictions between tradition and progress, human contact and social networks, nature and the man-made, and physical presence and the virtual.” (source
Elias Sime at James Cohan Gallery
Elias Sime at James Cohan Gallery
Elias Sime at James Cohan Gallery

His current exhibit at James Cohan Gallery is titled TIGHTROPE: ECHO!?, and is on view from March 19 through April 24 at James Cohan’s Tribeca location.

Elias Sime at James Cohan Gallery
Elias Sime at James Cohan Gallery
Elias Sime at James Cohan Gallery

In keeping with Sime’s signature theme of communication, he introduces megaphones into these works to signify “the way information can be successfully or unsuccessfully transmitted (source).” 

Elias Sime at James Cohan Gallery

The megaphones signify methods of communication in crowds particularly, which are clear in our minds during a time of frequent protests whether it be the protestors using the megaphone or police trying to control crowds. 

Elias Sime at James Cohan Gallery
Elias Sime at James Cohan Gallery
“As technology connects people virtually and physically from one end of the world to the other, unfiltered and sensational speeches are spread creating confusion and doubting the truth.” - Elias Sime (source)
Elias Sime at James Cohan Gallery
Elias Sime at James Cohan Gallery
“Each one of the Tightrope: ECHO!? is about what I am witnessing now. I leave the interpretation of the pieces to the viewers. The basic idea is how humans are easily manipulated by individuals and rush for conclusions that they often regret when the truth begins to surface.” Elias Sime  - (source)
Elias Sime at James Cohan Gallery

Video of the Exhibit

To see a walkthrough of the exhibit, skip ahead to 3:54 in the video below.

About the Artist - Elias Sime

Elias Sime was born in Ethiopia and is known for creating works out of electronic materials like circuit boards, computer keys, and wires. He completely transforms these everyday materials into something magical. 

Elias Sime at James Cohan Gallery
Elias Sime at James Cohan Gallery
“Sime’s work, while culturally specific, has always been universalist. And although never without critical thrust — no one knows better the horrors visited on Africa by shipments of toxic Western e-waste — it is utopian.” - Holland Cotter of The New York Times 
Elias Sime at James Cohan Gallery
“My work reclaims these machines in a tender way, as I am not in opposition to technology. It’s about how to balance it with “real” life. We’ve become off-balance.” - Elias Sime for Art Forum (source)
Elias Sime at James Cohan Gallery
Elias Sime at James Cohan Gallery

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