GRIMM is proud to announce Tightrope, the first solo exhibition by Elias Sime (1968, Addis Ababa, ET) in Europe. The exhibition will open on Friday November 23, during the Amsterdam Art Weekend Gallery Night.

Elias Sime creates reliefs featuring repurposed materials including thread, electrical wires, organic materials, and computer detritus. This exhibition highlights new and recent work from the artist’s Tightrope series. The title refers to the precarious balance between the advancements that technology has made possible and their detrimental impact on the environment.

The artist incorporates the refuse from consumer electronics, repurposing salvaged components such as circuits and keyboards to create abstract compositions. 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. 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 is uncompromising in his method of constructing elaborate arrangements from ephemera. The artist braids used wires into roiling terrains with biomorphic features, 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.

Opening: November 23rd, 2018 from 5 pm until 9 pm


Ants & Ceramicists 2

Elias Sime


Yarn stitch and found object on canvas

154.3 x 83.8 x 5.7 cm | 60 3/4 x 33 x 2 1/4 in

Tightrope: Heart

Elias Sime


Reclaimed electronic components on panel

210.2 x 161.3 cm | 82 3/4 x 63 1/2 in




GRIMM Press Release