Francesco Simeti's Unrelenting

November 17, 2020

Francesco Simeti - Unrelenting

The NYC Mayor's Office for International Affairs, Consulate General of Italy in New York and Magazzino Italian Art presented an outdoor screening of Francesco Simeti’s video work Unrelenting (2020). The artwork was projected in largescale on the exterior of the Consulate building, visible on the southwest corner of 69th street and Park Avenue. 

Francesco Simeti’s expansive practice includes explorations of the tensions between human beings and the natural world. By illuminating this strain between the natural and artificial, Simeti asks his audience to reconsider its relationship to non-human life—in particular, its role in causing harm. Presenting Unrelenting within the dense built environment of New York City, the work takes on new significance. 

Simeti created Unrelenting as part of Homemade, Magazzino Italian Art’s digital initiative that invited eight New York-based Italian artists to create and share new works of art from their homes during New York State’s period of self-quarantine. Upon reopening the museum in July of 2020, Magazzino presented a special exhibition, Homemade (July 9 – September 7, 2020) of the final works at the museum. 

For Homemade, Simeti chose to investigate these themes through a previously unexplored medium. Over the course of two months, he created a series of animations that expose how nature emerged as humans retreated indoors during the pandemic. As we watch intertwined webs of foliage appear from both horizontal and vertical perspectives, we are reminded of our everyday experience of watching nature gradually come into view during the quarantine. His inclusion of music composed by his dear friend and collaborator Chris Cerrone adds an element of magical mystique that mirrors our wonder for nature while simultaneously introducing an eerie and alarming call to action.

About the artist

Francesco Simeti (b. 1968, Palermo, Italy) is an artist known for his site-specific installations, which aesthetically present enchanting scenes that reveal a darker subtext upon closer inspection. His work often appropriates photographs from newspapers and magazines to raise questions about the role of images in contemporary discourse. He has had solo exhibitions at venues such as Assembly Room, New York, (2019); Open Source Gallery, New York (2017); Hessel Museum, Bard College, New York (2014); Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Palermo (2012); and Artists Space, New York (2009). His work has been included in group exhibitions at Museo Civico di Castelbuono, Palermo (2019); ICA Singapore (2017); Palazzo Reale, Milan (2016); and Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, Turin (2014). He has also exhibited work at the Triennale di Milano (2014 and 2013). Simeti lives and works in New York.

About the NYC Mayor's Office for International Affairs

The New York City Mayor's Office for International Affairs works to foster positive relations and encourage collaboration between the international community and New York City's agencies and local neighborhoods. The Office is focused on sharing New York City's policies and best practices globally, as well as responding to requests from foreign governments, the United Nations, and the U.S. Department of State. International Affairs also advises City agencies on diplomatic and consular matters, and provides guidance to the diplomatic and consular community on City-related issues.

About the Consulate General of Italy in New York

The Consulate General of Italy in New York is located at 690 Park Avenue, New York. It provides its services to Italian nationals in the States of New York, Connecticut and in a large part of New Jersey. At the same time, the Consulate General, under the guidance of the Embassy of Italy in the United States, is the dynamic hub for the promotion of Italian initiatives in the economic, cultural, technological, and scientific field in New York City and in the Tristate Area.