Elias Sime is a multi-disciplinary artist, best known for his large-scale reliefs made from recycled consumer electronics. Sime’s process is motivated by a will to reclaim and re-examine our relationship to our environment. He uses braiding and layering techniques to create vast mosaics composed of keyboards, circuits, wires, and all manner of e-waste imported into his home country, Ethiopia. These materials are sourced from the largest open-air market in Africa located in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

Elias Sime, one of the most prolific artists of our time has been using electronic components to express his observation and imagination of humanity’s complications and its future. A processor is the key component of an electrical circuit necessary to interpret and execute electrical signals fed into the device. Behind the Processor is an extension of Elias’ TIGHTROPE series that began in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2013 and has been traveling in different galleries and museums around the world. - Meskerem Assegued, 2023

Sime’s works serve as records of the global exchange of commodities, and the conceptual transformations of matter from raw materials, to machine, waste, and finally as art. He alternates between biomorphic forms, landscapes, and pure abstraction, relying on the materials to guide his intuitive, measured approach. The equilibrium of universalists concepts—between humanity and nature, progress and tradition, material, and concept—are explored in the series Tightrope. The title refers to the precarious balance between the advancements that technology has made possible and their detrimental impact on the environment. Sime’s works draw upon their materiality, to comment on the resilience of nature, social responsibility, and the beauty of the utilitarian.

Elias Sime is deeply involved in developing the Ethiopian art community and has established a research practice studying the ancient rituals of rural communities in the country. Together with his long-time collaborator, curator and anthropologist Meskerem Assegued, Sime founded the Zoma Museum which opened in Addis Ababa in 2019. In the same year, Sime was awarded the African Art Award by the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, and he was a 2020 Hugo Boss Prize Nominee. Sime was included in the exhibition Il latte dei sogni at the 59th Biennale di Venezia (2022), curated by Cecilia Alemani, in Venice (IT).

Selected collections include the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (JP); The Ahmanson Foundation, Los Angeles, CA (US); The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College, Orlando, FL (US); Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts Foundation Collection, Little Rock, AR (US); Chrysler Museum of Arts, Norfolk, VA (US); Cleveland Clinic Art Collection, Cleveland, OH (US); Denning House Art Collection, Stanford University, Stanford, CA (US); Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA (US); Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI (US); Fondation H, Antananarivo (MG); Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL (US); Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH (US); Israel Museum, Jerusalem (IL); Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO (US); Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY (US); N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, Detroit, MI (US); Newark Museum, Newark, NJ (US); North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC (US); North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks, ND (US); Norval Foundation, Cape Town (ZA); Pérez Art Museum, Miami, FL (US); The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C. (US); Pizzuti Collection at the Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH (US); Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ (US); Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (CA); Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO (US); Toledo Museum of Art, OH (US); Utah Museum of Fine Art, Salt Lake City, UT (US); Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA (US) as well as in many private collections.