Elias Sime, born in Addis Ababa in 1968, is a multidisciplinary artist working primarily in relief sculpture and architecture. For more than twenty-five years, he has made collages and sculptural assemblages from found objects such as thread, buttons, plastic, animal skins, horn, fabric and bottle tops, alongside organic building materials and binding agents such as mud and straw. This event takes place at Frans Halsstraat 26.
Many of the objects come from an area of the Mercato, the Addis Ababa open-air market said to be the largest in Africa, where trash is repurposed in resourceful ways and shared among the community. Sime’s work ranges from dense narrative to austere modernist abstraction. He is as interested in a motherboard stripped from a mobile phone as in an animal skull or worn-out button, looking past the emotional weighting of new versus old, instead finding renewal everywhere, and interested in how objects and ideas can connect in new ways.
Image credits: Elias Sime, Tightrope Blind Faith, 2017