Palestine | I am the Land and the Land is You | Venetia Porter | The British Museum

2021

"Printed onto a piece of yellow limestone from Jerusalem is an old black and white family photograph of two children playing with a horse in an area close to the walls of the Old City. In making Till the End – Spirit of a Place, Sabella revisited and picked up small stones from places that had been important to him as a child. ‘It [the work] has an archaeological quality to it and emanates a profound sense of loss. Yet it also offers an archive of subjective memories without resorting to the sentimental.’
The image evokes a sense of place but at the same time questions the artist’s relationship to that place and to his own identity. The Palestinian artist Kamal Boullata’s (1942–2019) words capture this notion: ‘The city that from time immemorial was considered a bridge between heaven and earth may be absent in Sabella’s photographs, but everything in them indicates how, in solitude, the native photographer rebuilt his own Jerusalem.’"

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