No Man's Land
Intimate Terrains: Representations of a Disappearing Landscape Catalogue
Tina Sherwell | Guest Curator at The Palestinian Museum
In Steve Sabella's work No Man's Land, it is precisely the recurring elements of any landscape that are questioned as we do not know where we are - the specificity of place has been lost as the photographs are a sophisticated, seamless collage of everyday elements from the landscape, rotten leaves, feathers, pollen and dust on the surface of a lake. As Steve Sabella explains, "We don't know where we belong here. If they reflect anything, these are images of a present defined by shifting borders and displaced origins, existence in the threshold." We seem to float in an abyss, an infinity with no rootedness or grounding, in which fragments from the landscape create a cosmos. Displayed in triptych form, they also probe the veneration of landscape and its sanctity and further reference the ideas of a threshold between different spaces and different worlds. The title, No Man's Land, has particular associations for Palestinians as it was the strip of land that divided East and West Jerusalem after 1948, beyond which lay the other half of the city from which they were expelled from and their homes taken.
Director | The Palestinian Museum
Adila Laïdi-Hanieh | Chronicling the Unvanquished
Steve Sabella’s photographic practice occupies a singular place in contemporary Palestinian photography. A genre that has appeared in the mid-1990s, dominated by documentations of the inscription of the Israeli occupation on the landscape. Sabella departs from this paradigm by developing in his wider practice both the conceptual depths of photography, as well as its surface and plastic properties.
ASIA | Art Spectacle International Asia
In the section Fragmentation, Steve Sabella’s photographic work captures the darker reality of Palestinian land.
Watch the 4 minute documentary on what inspired Steve Sabella to donate No Man's Land to The Palestinian Museum.