Featuring Steve Sabella

THERE WHERE YOU ARE NOT | Kamal Boullata Selected Writings | Hirmer

There Where You Are Not brings together the writings of celebrated Palestinian artist and theorist Kamal Boullata. Produced over four decades of exile in Europe, North Africa, and the United States, the essays explore intersections between aesthetics, history, and politics that are central to the historiography of modern Arab art.

The experience of exile and imperatives of resistance permeate the essays, whose subjects range from autobiography to contemporary art, early ruminations on gender relations, language and the visual, to questions of identity and globalization. Taken collectively, they explore intersections between aesthetics, history, and politics that are central to the historiography of modern Arab art.

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Nadia Radman Book Review

"Taken as a whole, this collection offers key documents for scholars interested in the study of visual arts and aesthetics in the Arab world. It provides a decolonial account of transregional modernism as experienced and analyzed from the margins, while opening many paths for reflecting on contemporary art and issues of belonging, resistance, and identity. More significantly, it offers a much-needed alternative account to traditional art historical narratives and theories of aesthetics by proposing original and decentered approaches to modernism, particularly abstraction."

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The Lives of Rain | Nathalie Handal | Bookcover - first edition

Nathalie Handal’s three-part collection is a peripatetic wonder. She opens with “The Doors of Exile” – ” … stuck between two doors / waiting to leave to enter …” and takes the reader on a diasporic journey through language (Arabic, French, Spanish, in addition to English) by creating both an intimacy of the wanderer’s instant recognition of another traveler, and the displacement of a being other in an unfamiliar landscape both literal and imagined.

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Najwan Darwish | Every Time I Approach a Storm | Poetry

In Exile used as a bookcover.

We Never Stop
I have no country to return to
and no country to be banished from:
a tree whose roots
are a running river:
it dies if it stops,
it dies if it doesn’t.

Najwan Darwish Poetry Books

THE NEVERFIELD | Nathalie Handal | Bookcover

"As I turned the pages of this work, I was reminded of how vast the universe is. The Neverfield is everlasting by nature.  After reading it, I breathed deeply and praised the word. This is a holistic piece of work." 
Benjamin Zephaniah

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Ella Shohat | On The Arab Jew, Palestine, and Other Displacements | PlutoBooks

38 Days of Re-Collection on the Bookcover. Pluto Press. Winner of the Palestine Book Awards

"Displacement as metonym (in the sense of actual movement from place to place) and as metaphor (in the sense of comparable displacements) forms a binding thread that runs through On the Arab-Jew, Palestine, and Other Displacements. For this reason, I found Steve Sabella’s “38 Days of Re- Collection” (2014) to suggestively convey the thrust of this book, and selected it for the cover. The basic material of Sabella’s Re-Collection” series -- B & W photo emulsion spread on swashes of color paint scraped from the interior walls of houses in Jerusalem’s Old City -- strangely parallels this book project itself, also composed of fragments gathered from several decades of work and now “housed” in this collection. The stand-alone materiality of the piece, literally extracted from a wall, conveys a layered history through palpable layers of paint."

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

Kamal Boullata offers the first insider’s study of Palestinian art. The only authoritative account in English yet published, this scholarly analysis presents insights into the development of Palestinian art before and after the cataclysmic events of 1948 during which Palestinian society was uprooted and dispersed.

Palestinian Art includes the pioneering work of those who ventured into easel painting before 1948, of refugees who made their debut in the Arab world and whose art left its deep imprint on the development of modern Arab art, and more recent work by artists making inroads into the international art scene.

Boullata also discusses the work of artists who continued to live in their homeland. Representations of home and exile, the ongoing struggle between innovation and tradition, the relationship between verbal and visual expression and the role of women artists in Palestinian modernism are key areas of focus in this work.

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Gil Hochberg | Becoming Palestine | Duke University Press

38 Days of Re-Collection on the bookcover.

"In Becoming Palestine, Gil Z. Hochberg examines how contemporary Palestinian artists, filmmakers, dancers, and activists use the archive in order to radically imagine Palestine's future. She shows how artists such as Jumana Manna, Kamal Aljafari, Larissa Sansour, Farah Saleh, Basel Abbas, and Ruanne Abou-Rahme reimagine the archive, approaching it not through the desire to unearth hidden knowledge, but to sever the identification of the archive with the past. In their use of archaeology, musical traditions, and archival film and cinematic footage, these artists imagine a Palestinian future unbounded from colonial space and time. By urging readers to think about archives as a break from history rather than as history's repository, Hochberg presents a fundamental reconceptualization of the archive's liberatory potential."

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Between Exits | Paintings by Hani Zurob | Kamal Boullata | Black Dog Publishing

"Two artists and fellow travellers with children growing up away from home may find their inspiration in their offspring, but each goes his own way when it comes to interpreting his relationship with the child. The anecdote inducing the work of one takes mythical dimensions in the work of the other. As much as Sabella's art has been motivated by an instinctive drive, where his metaphoric language could only be expressed through the interpolations of abstraction, Zurob's work has remained reflexive; his art abounding with metaphors is rooted in figuration. Consequently, after completing his two sequels of work inspired by his daughter, Sabella moved on to explore themes beyond the sphere of his paternal life."

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Stephen Shore | From Galilee to the Negev | PHAIDON

"My reading of this image photographed by Stephen Shore may not necessarily originate from the image itself, but rather from what this image may trigger me to think about. Even ‘banal’ photography is not, after all, that innocent. Images, especially those that come from Israel and Palestine are, as you would expect, highly coded and politically charged. They are in conflict with themselves because people do not look at the photo as an art object: they look at what it depicts or represents. This makes photography confusing: what it conceals far exceeds what it shows." HOSTAGE | Essay by Steve Sabella

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In The Wake of the Poetic | Palestinian Artists After Darwish Najat Rahman

"For Sabella, exile becomes one of the ways of attempting to counter colonization and regain freedom, to “re-conquer my imagination, until I reached my states of Euphoria (2010) and Beyond Euphoria (2011).”61 It is in this sense that Palestinian visual art, and other forms of art, have been critically important, politically as well as aesthetically. It becomes incumbent to wrench language, whether poetic or visual, from the hegemony of a tired language about Palestine."

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NEW VISION | Arab Contemporary Art in the 21st Century | Thames & Hudson

Edited by Hossein Amirsadeghi, Salwa Mikdadi & Nada M. Shabout

"Five groundbreaking essays offer the best context to date for contemporary Arab art. These are followed by some 90 superbly illustrated profiles of key artists, organizations and galleries. Mixing the well known (such as Mona Hatoum or Susan Hefuna) with the up and coming (for example, Steve Sabella or Mireille Astore).”

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Israel & Palästina | Palestinian Art

Mixed Messages | The Versatility of Collage | Ann Marie | Bloomsbury

"This gorgeous, inspirational guide to collage is the first book to combine a review of collage with a practical section on how to do it. A beautifully illustrated survey of stunning work by contemporary artists is accompanied by a general introduction looking at masters of the medium, from Picasso, to Richard Hamilton, to Peter Blake."

Bloomsbury Publishing

Ein Israeli in Palästina | Jeff Halper

Book Cover

Contemporary Practices Art Journal

In Exile on the cover plus three critical essays.

Steve Sabella | Martina Corgnati

"Palestinian-born artist Steve Sabella could well be a younger, more alternative, more artistic version of the late Edward Said. Like the literary exile who lived in an enclave of a world he had created for himself on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, surrounded and consumed and embedded in the construct of texts that deconstructed the reality he struggled with, Sabella is one who lives in an equal state of alienation – confined to an exile that transcends place: London, and rather is contained in the bounds of his mind. A mind that like Said’s did deconstructs only to rebuild again, but in this case, using a terminology of visual narratives."

Yasmin El Rashidi

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Concrete Messages: Street Art on the Israeli - Palestinian Separation Barrier

Book by Joyce Lagerweij and Zia Krohn. "By combining pictures with interviews, Concrete Messages shows more of well-known local and international street artists than just their work. It gets behind the reasons why they become street artists, their views on the role of street art in society, and their motivations for doing a piece on the separation barrier.Banksy, Blu, Ericailcane, Faile, JR, Know Hope, Paul Insect, Ron English, Sam3 and Swoon are some of the artists featured in Concrete Messages."

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