- 18 Nov 2021 - 12 Jan 2022
Francesco Simeti “Terrestre”
The series of paper collages entitled Terrestre was assembled by Francesco Simeti by bringing together photo reproductions of the sky taken from articles in the New York Times. By making use of clippings from the pages of the newspaper collected and saved over a period of years in his own archives, in these works the artist reverses the method used for his previous wallpapers, where he removed the background from the silhouettes of photographic subjects and thus always excluded the sky as an irrelevant and marginal offscreen element. Instead, an inversion of language prevails in Terrestre, in which the collages reject an immediate narrative readability in order to privilege the space of the sky and the little parts of urban elements that emerge, such as the tops of skyscrapers, pylons, architectural fragments, and street lights. The eleven collages on display, each organized vertically and thus forever sacrificing the artist’s original clippings, are arranged according to a chromatic classification, like variable color fields, from light blue to violet, from navy to crimson. The portions of skies, undated, come from a wide variety of New York Times sections, such as “International News”, in which the images are part of a political connotation, “Travel and Leisure”, where more light-hearted and social scenes predominate, or “Real Estate”, with articles and advertising about luxury homes are accompanied by clear and radiant skies. Simeti’s visual syntax keeps the grid layout of a newspaper but removes any contextual anchor, thus entrusting the viewer alone with the possibility of questioning the photos to understand a possible revelation.
Likewise, Corpi is a double projection of eighty slides, all photographic variations on the theme of water, in a variety of tones and textures, also generated from details of photo clippings from the New York Times. Again as with the skies of Terrestre, they are taken from very different scenes – from the atmosphere of never-ending vacation of the Caribbean Sea, to the drama of migrant ships in the Mediterranean, or the devastations of North American flooding – nevertheless the slides do not betray any hint of history or geography, casting in an abstract and dematerialized form such a key element in the life cycle as water.
Francesco Simeti. Courtesy of Francesca Minini.