Museum & Gallery Catalogues

REFLECTIONS | Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa | Curated by Venetia Porter | The British Museum | London

"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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NEL MEZZO DEL MEZZO | Curated by Christine Macel, Marco Bazzini, Bartomeu Mari | RISO Museum | Palermo

The exhibition Nel Mezzo del Mezzo (In the Middle of the Middle: Contemporary Art of the Mediterranean) was shown at five venues in Palermo in 2015, from October 10th until November 30th. Its main venue was Palazzo RISO, the Museum for Contemporary Art of Sicily. The three curators brought together works that deal with the nature of the Mediterranean Sea, in the ways it both unites and divides. The wide range of different artistic strategies on display amounted to a thorough overview.

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Fragments | Berloni Gallery | Solo Exhibition | London

"In Fragments, Sabella reveals visual palimpsests. Hubertus von Amelunxen describes how his collages, “form a dazzling tableau of possible transitions and detachment processes between world and image, image and world."

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LAYERS | CAP Kuwait | Solo Exhibition | Kuwait

"Even when Sabella is not directly referring to Palestine in his work, some critics assume that he is. Take for example, the portraits of a series of hands belonging to different people in Exit. A single hand appears on a black background, the left or right one, usually craggy or mottled with age. Some sport a wedding ring worn for perhaps over sixty years. The fingers are laid flat, open, bunched up, or gnarled like the branches of a great oak tree. One hand displays badly painted fingernails as if the eyes of the owner had difficulty seeing what she was doing. The images are disturbing yet strangely comforting at the same time. They are the delicate bruised hands of survivors. Exit immediately begs the question: whom do these hands belong to – Palestinians, Jews or both. Or does it really matter?" Malu Halasa

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INDEPENDENCE | Meem Gallery | Solo Exhibition | Dubai

"Unlike the aforementioned fractured constellations, Independence is viscerally and deceptively whole. It is a new visual experience, wherein the only borders lie on the images’ edges themselves, and the outlines of the figures contained within them appear intact. The two females – one appearing young, the other older – could be floating or flying. Some of the images in the series are monological, though most portray the characters engaging in an intimate gestural dance. On closer inspection, fragmentation emerges. What could possibly be parts of bone or metal appear on or beneath the surface of their diaphanous skin. Lacking any facial detail, they are stripped of characteristics that could convey expressions, left with the sole sense of touch. Amidst a dark void, they appear in blurred obscurity, like anonymous forms suspended in extremis." 

Madeline Yale Preston | Free-Falling Into the Future | In Conversation with Steve Sabella

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Archaeology of The Future | Retrospective Exhibition | Scavi Scaligeri Museum | Verona

"Steve and I have already worked together for the 15th International fotofest Biennale in houston, texas, which took place in the spring of this year. We were then showing photo-collages of his cycles from In Exile to Metamorphosis. His works get under my skin. To understand it, I cannot separate his artwork from his life. And especially not separated from what is happening right now in Gaza. I am not very interested in writing a kind of art-historical anamnesis. I would much rather approach his work from the vantage point of an archaeologist."  Karin Adrian Von Roques 

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FRAGMENTS FROM OUR BEAUTIFUL FUTURE | Bumiller Collection Museum | Berlin

"Sabella’s archaeological-seeming fragments, peeled from the Old City walls of his native Jerusalem with a surgeon‘s care and precision, reach deeper into layers of time and memory. He then awakens them, bringing them back to life through his photography. In the first moments of viewing them, one catches oneself wondering if they aren’t actually antique depictions. The onlooker falls silent at their vivid appeal, to then give way and sink into the fragments. Only the silence itself, one that allows a contemplative air to resonate and breathe, seems to do them justice." Shulamit Bruckstein

A SHORT DOCUMENTARY

Find it on Kerber Verlag

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Told, Untold, Retold | Curated by Sam Bardaouil & Till Fellrath MATHAF Inaugural Exhibition | Doha

Told Untold Retold, 23 Stories Through Time & Space, is a collection of stories each vividly expressed in a newly commissioned artwork by 23 artists with roots in the Arab World. It is the first and largest exhibition of contemporary art on this scale within a museum context in the history of the region.

"There is a frank austerity in the work by Steve Sabella, the kind that appeals for time to be suspended. Despite the obviousness of the referent, Steve does not slide into the kind of kitsch one usually encounters in artworks that take it upon themselves to preach politics and clarifies that his installation "could also be considered an act of introspection and interrogation that will create a clash between the two words 'Identity' and 'Identification'."

On Sabella's Commission

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The Gates of Mediterranean | Curated by Martina Corganti

BLOCKS | Museo Riso | Albergo Delle Povere | Palermo

BLOCKS, the collective curated by Daniela Brignone (art historian) and Daniela Brignone (historian) traces a path that touches stories and consciences all over the world through 54 works by 28 contemporary artists from various parts of the world who with their creations denounce "Limits" and seek the way to overcome them. A project promoted by the Regional Department of Cultural Heritage and Sicilian Identity together with the Riso Museum. 

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PRESS RELEASE

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VIEW FROM INSIDE | Curated by Karin Adrian Von Roques | FotoFest Biennial | Abu Dhabi

FotoFest, the International Biennial of Photography and Photo-Related Arts, launches a newly curated exhibition dedicated to Contemporary Arab photography, video and mixed-media art for its fifteenth Biennial. VIEW FROM INSIDE, highlights the works of 49 Arab artists from 13 countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

VIEW FROM INSIDE is the largest collection of Contemporary Arab photography, video and installation work presented in the United States in over ten years. It is accompanied by a six-week program of films, conferences, tours, curatorial forums, fine print auction, collectors events, music and literature events.

PRESS RELEASE

RECREATIONAL PURPOSE | Bahrain National Museum Commission

"The rules of the game were simple. Six photographers from outside the country and five from within Bahrain, either citizens or long-term residents, were given a short brief: to take photographs of the island without any con­straints on format, content, message or intentions. The only restriction was the use of photography as a medium.

Nicene Kossentini, Taysir Batniji, Steve Sabella, Hrair Sarkissian, Wed Abdul-Jawad and Jamal Penjweny, the six photographers from outside of Bahrain, arrived as tourists and were given minimal logistical support. Instead, they were presented with the country as a virgin canvas and given free reign to inscribe their personal readings and interpretations on to it."

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VIEW FROM INSIDE | Curated by Karin Adrian Von Roques | FotoFest Biennial | Houston

FotoFest, the International Biennial of Photography and Photo-Related Arts, launches a newly curated exhibition dedicated to Contemporary Arab photography, video and mixed-media art for its fifteenth Biennial. VIEW FROM INSIDE, highlights the works of 49 Arab artists from 13 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. 

VIEW FROM INSIDE is the largest collection of Contemporary Arab photography, video and installation work presented in the United States in over ten years. It is accompanied by a six-week program of films, conferences, tours, curatorial forums, fine print auction, collectors events, music and literature events.. 

PRESS RELEASE

German Cool | Salsali Private Museum | Dubai

What is ‘German Cool’? Is it a pervasive rebellion against repression, oppression and political persecution? An ongoing evolution of cultural and ideological innovation? Disdain for authority, orthodoxy and some of the greatest European art of the 20th century? Whatever constitutes this mercurial asset, it’s clearly possessed in abundance by the artists featured in the SPM group exhibition ‘German Cool’, Salsali’s collection.

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WALLS AND MARGINS| Barjeel Art Foundation | Sharjah

This exhibition looks at works of art, which tackle the effects and consequences of established walls and barriers, both physical and ideological. It aims to highlight that while some of these dividing systems occur naturally, many are conscious human constructs, and ideas of us and them, inside and outside are often fabricated. Many of the works featured in this exhibition tell personal stories and provide private vantage points on larger issues.

"Steve Sabella’s series of photographic collages Metamorphosis (2012). The work featured in the exhibition shows segments of the Separation Wall multiplied in a dizzying motif. There is no top or bottom here, no sky or ground, the wall is reduced to pure pattern that confuses our way of looking." Nat Muller

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Intimate Terrains | The Palestinian Museum | Curated by Tina Sherwell

"One of the largest exhibitions of its kind held in Palestine in recent years, it features works by artists representing generations of classical and contemporary Palestinian schools of art. It explores a central historic and current theme in Palestinian art, the landscape, and showcases various rare and iconic works."

Press Release

On Sabella's No Man's Land (video)

Art Paris Art Fair | Solo with CAP Kuwait and a group show with Montoro 12 Gallery

"CAP Kuwait is pleased to present a solo booth featuring the works of award-winning and internationally exhibited artist Steve Sabella, born in Jerusalem, Palestine, and based in Berlin since 2010. Sabella has previously shown in France for La première Biennale des photographes du monde arabe contemporain at Institut du Monde Arabe (IMA) and Maison Européenne de la Photographie (2015) — Palestine, La création dans tous ses états at IMA (2009) — and Keep Your Eye on the Wall at Les Rencontres d’Arles (2013). IMA has commissioned Sabella as one of the exhibiting artists for its 30th anniversary mural, which will be displayed in May 2018. Sabella was also featured on France24 Arabic, in an interview with Liana Saleh."

CAP'S Press Release

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Akademie der Künste

Steve Sabella was awarded by nomination the Ellen Auerbach Award in 2008. Jury: Sibylle Bergemann, Barbara Klemm, Helga Paris. The prize lead to an exhibition at the Akademie and the publication of a study on Sabella's art covering 20 years of his photography with texts by Hubertus von Amelunxen and Kamal Boullata.

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Neighbours in Dialogue | Curated by Beral Madra for Ars Aevi Museum Collection

In March 2007, through collaboration with the City of Istanbul and the Beral Madra Centre for Contemporary Art, and with the support of the European Cultural Foundation and Prince Claus Fund, the Ars Aevi Collection was enriched with a new nucleus - the Istanbul Collection. The Istanbul Collection comprises works by artists from the South Caucuses, Middle East and Mediterranean who all belong to a younger generation, but have already received wide international acclaim: Steve Sabella (Jerusalem); Wafaa Yasin (Galilee); Sanan Aleskerov (Baku); Lamia Joreige (Beirut); Vahram Aghasyan (Erevan); Khaled Hafez (Cairo); Shalva Khakhnasvili (Tbilisi – Paris); Farhad Moshiri (Teheran); Dilek Winchester (İstanbul); xurban collective (Istanbul – Izmir - New York) and Andrej _erkovi_ (Sarajevo). 

EXHIBITION REVIEW in Contemporary Practices.

Press Release

Neighbours in Dialogue | Curated by Beral Madra for Ars Aevi Museum Collection

In March 2007, through collaboration with the City of Istanbul and the Beral Madra Centre for Contemporary Art, and with the support of the European Cultural Foundation and Prince Claus Fund, the Ars Aevi Collection was enriched with a new nucleus - the Istanbul Collection. The Istanbul Collection comprises works by artists from the South Caucuses, Middle East and Mediterranean who all belong to a younger generation, but have already received wide international acclaim: Steve Sabella (Jerusalem); Wafaa Yasin (Galilee); Sanan Aleskerov (Baku); Lamia Joreige (Beirut); Vahram Aghasyan (Erevan); Khaled Hafez (Cairo); Shalva Khakhnasvili (Tbilisi – Paris); Farhad Moshiri (Teheran); Dilek Winchester (İstanbul); xurban collective (Istanbul – Izmir - New York) and Andrej _erkovi_ (Sarajevo).

EXHIBITION REVIEW in Contemporary Practices.

More Information

Keep Your Eyes on The Wall

Keep Your Eye on the Wall brings together seven award-winning artist-photographers and four essayists, all responding to the Wall that suurounds Gaza in images or words. A beautifully packaged book published in a concertina format, with a foreword from Raja Shehadeh. The book fetaures photography from Taysir Batniji, Raed Bawayah, Rula Halawani, Noel Jabbour, Raeda Saadeh, Steve Sabella and Kai Wiedenhofer; text from Malu Halasa, Yael Lerer, Christine Leuenberger and Adania Shibli. In addition to art and criticism, the book also features work from prominent Palestinian novelist and short-story writer Adania Shibli and poet Najwan Darwish.

Book Launch in London at the Mosiacs Room. Click here for more details.

MORE INFO

Palestine – Contemporary Art From Within and Beyond the Border

Imago Mundi Luciano Benetton Collection, 2016. (English/Arabic).

"In 2007, I photographed my three-year- old daughter, Cécile, as she stood at the window of our living room in London saying, ‘Daddy, I want to go home to my country, Jerusalem’. I collaged fragments of this image, of her disorientation and loss, and multiplied them in a collage titled “In Exile” (2008), which mirrored our states of mind, and opened up a channel of communication beyond words. Now, we revisit this unique language again. Using a polaroid emulsion transfer, Cécile’s image appears on the surface of the canvas, and she has decided how to expand on this image, with the hand of an eleven- year-old artist, in a language all her own."

See Sabella's Participation

Steve Sabella In Exile | Solo Exhibition | Metroquadro Gallery

Besides the complexity and deepness of research, your works are characterized by a high aesthetic value. It is as if in your work there were a constant search for beauty, as if every detail were studied in an endless tension towards harmony, balance and perfection. Am I wrong?

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Première Biennale Des Photographes Du Monde Arabe Contemporain

R.alis.e en 2014, 38 Days of Re-collection remet en question les concepts traditionnels de la photographie, en .cho . l’histoire et aux r.alit.s de la ville de J.rusalem. Steve Sabella a collect. de larges morceaux de peinture et de murs de b.timents de la vieille ville, t.moins du pass., sur lesquels se superposent des images selon un principe de collage.

Maison Européenne de la Photographie | Institut du monde arabe | Présentation par Gabriel Bauret, Commissaire général

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Exhibition in Brussels  Earth Power Montoro 12 Gallery Till June 10  More info

The Photography Phair in Turin with Two Galleries Metroquadroarte & Montoro12 Rome/Brussles May 26 - May 2  More Info

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