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) on November 17, 2020, from 5 to 7 PM.
The artwork was projected in largescale on the exterior of the Consulate building, visible on the southwest corner of 69th street and Park Avenue, in the attempt to provide New York with a cultural event that respects the norms to be followed for Covid-19 restrictions. Following the Covid-19 protocol, his work will continue to be accessible to the public on the Consulate’s Facebook page.
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. 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.
To learn more information about Simeti’s project, you can visit www.magazzino.art/blog/