Palestinian Art from 1850 to the Present | Kamal Boullata | Saki Books

2009

The city considered a bridge between heaven and earth may be absent in Sabella's photographs, but everything in these frames indicates the manner by which this native photographer has rebuilt his own Jerusalem. Not unlike the photographs of Ra'ad, which to an outsider may have resembled those of ethnically-oriented photographers of his time, Sabella's crisp work of sky and rocks resembles work found among professional photographers anywhere else on the globe. And yet, it is in Sabella's conscious avoidance of photographing Jerusalem that the visual artist has managed to recreate the universality of a place with which he identifies. In that respect, his search for his true self may be likened to those monks who, drawn by Jerusalem, came from distant lands only to spend the rest of their lives in bare and desolate landscapes. Only there could Sabella find a Jerusalem where he might breathe fresh air.

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