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Till The End

2004 | Photo emulsion on Jerusalem stone 



Till The End

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

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Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center | Ramallah

Steve Sabella – Photography 1997-2014 | Hatje Cantz & Akademie der Künste

Hubertus Von Amelunxen

In Till the End, the ubiquity of place resulting from a photograph that actually obliterates every origin, every bond, is superimposed on stones from Jerusalem. The stones are enfolded in a skin of the moment, contrasted, and “palimpsested” by Sabella’s memory with the memory of the stone, readable only geologically, with its “perspiring memory,” as Francis Ponge circumscribed the sublime, simple as well as complex memory of a stone...

... Till the End Sabella draws photography into an allegorical configuration of perpetual loss.

more in Steve Sabella's monograph

Palestine | I am the Land and the Land is You

Venetia Porter | The British Museum

"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.’


As part of the exhibition Reflections: Contemporary art of the Middle East and North Africa at the British Museum. (Learn more)

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Interview with Khelil Bouarrouj

The Institute for Palestine Blog

“My art is not about Palestine! It’s about my life.” Steve Sabella quickly corrected me as I started our interview with a line about his art and its connection to the land of his birth. Sabella rejected the effort to label him. “Many people seek to put labels and categories on my work,” he told me. And while aware of the expectations surrounding a “Palestinian artist,” he has long held that what other people think of him is of no consequence to his own truth. Sabella is not trying to distance himself from Palestine. Far from it, he assures me, but he contends, “I think it is better to be from someplace” than to be defined by it.

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Discoveries of a Mental Journey | Beatrice Benedetti

Steve’s trip, it could be said, was simply an expedition, with discoveries and restoration, the only difference being that the key value of the objects he found is not the rediscovery of a lost time, but rather the discovery of an original idea that is preserved for the days to come.

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Martina Corgnati | Contemporary Practices Art Journal

Steve Sabella emulsified some rocks with the image of places, buildings or fragments of a landscape representative of his childhood’s environment, that was already transforming and disappearing

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Khalil Sakaini Cultural Center | Ramallah

Archaeology of The Future

Retrospective Exhibition | Scavi Scaligeri Museum | Verona

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Khalil Sakaini Cultural Center

Khalil Sakaini Cultural Center

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