Artwork: Francesco Simeti, Linee di fuga (Flight Lines), 1998. Collage, pencil, and tempera on paper (9 sheets), each 90 x 90 cm.
In this episode of Costellazione, Italian artist Francesco Simeti (b. 1968, Palermo), known for his subversive wall coverings and experimentation with the space and history of decoration, discusses this early work in collage, entitled Linee di fuga (Flight Lines) from 1998, as a seminal work in his artistic research. Made after his move to New York, where he lives and works, Linee di fuga features photographic cut-outs from Italian newspaper reports on the civil war in Sarajevo, photocopied and glued onto nine square sheets of paper attached to the wall in a grid format that suggests infinite expansion. The figures are captured fleeing and perpetuating civil war. They are connected by faint pencil “flight lines” or linee di fuga. The phrase in Italian also has a second meaning: lines of perspective. As Simeti reflects on the history of art and the construction of images, he asks us to think about conflicts, crises, and emigration that are so often associated with civil war. Art and politics, in Simeti’s view, are inseparable.
Image: Francesco Simeti, Linee di fuga, (Flight Lines), 1998.
Collage, pencil, and tempera on paper (9 sheets). 90 x 90 cm. Courtesy of the artist.