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205 x 117 cm
Lambda print on diasec
3.5-cm aluminum box edge
limited edition of 6 + 2 AP

beyond euphoria
beyond euphoria
beyond euphoria




Installation shots from the Euphoria and Beyond solo exhibition at Empty Quarter Gallery, Dubai, UAE (2011)


Beyond Euphoria - Steve Sabella Beyond Euphoria - Steve Sabella


Re-constructing Dasein: The Works of Steve Sabella
By Charlotte Bank
Institute for Middle East Understanding
March 28, 2016
Following Steve Sabella’s path through his projects In Exile (2008), In Transition (2010), Euphoria (2010), Beyond Euphoria (2011), Metamorphosis (2012) and finally Independence (2013), the onlooker has access to a unique view of the psychological struggles the artist faced in his condition of up-rootedness. In each series except Independence, Sabella used a particular collage technique, piecing together fragmented photographic images taken from multiple perspectives. Sabella has likened this meticulous process, the careful re-arranging and twisting of forms, to painting rather than any classical use of photography. In many of these collages it is difficult to discern any clear directions; there seems to be no clear up or down. When drawn into these images, one finds oneself caught in a dizzying, free-floating condition, disturbing at first, but maybe also offering the promise of endless freedom, to be found somewhere, sometime.

Steve Sabella, “My Art Is Not About Palestine! It’s About My Life.”
By Khelil Bouarrouj
Palestine Square - The Blog of the Institute for Palestine Studies
March 6, 2015
Palestine Sqaure

In Conversation with Steve Sabella
By Madeline Yale Preston
Independence Exhibition Catalogue, Meem Gallery in Dubai
Madeline Yale Preston: Several of your series’ titles – In Exile, Metamorphosis, Euphoria, Beyond Euphoria, to name a few – suggest states of being that are interconnected in sum. One interpretation is that these ‘states’ are autobiographical, referring to your own evolutionary psychological framework, largely in response to living in occupied Jerusalem for the majority of your life. The title Independence – also a state of being – is a leading one. What is it independence from?

Steve Sabella: In my catalogue essay for the
Archaeology of the Future exhibition in Verona (October 2014), I ask whether we can break ourselves free from our image. In my work I explore decoding fixed systems that are constantly at work to entrap people in bordered spaces. Over time this investigation led me to see the bigger picture. Each series I have created began with a search of how to explore and exit the state of mind I was living in. I transformed this state into a visual dilemma or a question, which, once solved, would lead me to a new state with a new visual challenge. Looking back at my work, I see that I was unfolding visual palimpsests that explore the multiple layers of my past, and the influence perception had on my ‘reality’. Today my images gain their independence from my narrative. The narrative might still be there, but it will unfold itself in a different way. There are hidden layers in images that change perception all the time. It is time to engage further in the process of looking, where meaning resides only in the mind of the viewer.

Free-Falling Into the Future
By Madeline Yale Preston
Independence Exhibition Catalogue, Meem Gallery in Dubai
Beyond Euphoria (2011) is likewise a series of splintered assemblages, its threedimensional source material flattened, distorted, and restructured in two dimensions. All of these intended ‘dissolutions of forms’ challenge photographic veracity, their abstract compositions far removed from any perceived mirror of memory.

Steve Sabella - Photography 1997-2014
By Hubertus Von Amelunxen

In the work cycle Beyond Euphoria things are placed on the horizontally oriented plane or imbued with rhythm by being thrown and enduring a fall that gives them a chiseled appearance. They overlay and touch one another, unfolding a different dynamic of gliding and hovering... No detail may be seen as constituting a whole; as a fragment, it is to be conceived as part of a totality that is unattained and therefore in a constant process of movement and structural innovation.



Stages of Transition. Visualizing Exile in the Work of Steve Sabella
By Dorothea Schoene
Afterimage - Volume 39, Number 6


The titles clearly indicate the emotional stages in which the artist found himself, but reveal—in conjunction with the actual artwork—an aspect more linked to the process of each work: the more euphoric the artist became, the more he aimed for a dissolution of forms. The titles serve almost as a closing remark to an ongoing process of arranging forms and elements— sometimes with a repetitive layout of similar forms and visual elements, and at other times using distortion and fragmentation of color and shapes. The artist points out that his method of making photocollages is more like painting than documenting a state of being or photographing a particular moment. This long, elaborate process of arranging and distorting forms is only indicated by the title as a reflection of the inner state of being, the emotional condition of artmaking—a personal archeology.



Steve Sabella in Conversation with Sara Rossino
By Sara Rossino

The Changing Room Exhibition Catalogue, Curated by Aida Eltorie

While working on Euphoria I felt that there was something beyond, and this is when Beyond Euphoria came to light. The form had to look more abstract. The work might resemble paintings but this was never the goal. In fact, what makes it stand out is probably when people realize that the collage is made up of photographic images. That is, the work resorts to photography to achieve its effect. Photography has that unique artistic quality that can create an immediate connection with the viewer. It has to do with the image that has an uncanny resemblance with the world. After years of working with the photographic medium, it seems that my images lost that uncanny resemblance and are now pushing for a newer understanding of the exhausted photographic image. My images are constructions of a fictional world or space. They are starting to obtain their power from the adjacent cut fragments that are giving them a new form and identity.



Exodus and Back
By Myrna Ayad


In the same way that Sabella’s fury rose in parallel to tensions during the first and Second Intifada, his euphoria augmented with each event that contributed to the Arab Spring. “The spark that ignited in me, ignited in the Arab world,” he says. In always being true to himself and his work, Sabella sought to mirror his self and that of the region’s uprising so that they appear one and the same. Initial pieces from Beyond Euphoria were destroyed and the resulting images reflect a freedom, a boundless energy never before seen in his oeuvre. The inevitable question is where to from here?


Steve Sabella - I am From Jerusalem
By Christa Paula
Exhibition review for Euphoria and Beyond at The Empty Quarter Gallery in Dubai

It is also relevant that the production period of Sabella’s first post-Euphoria works coincided with the demonstration in Tunisia and Egypt. Beyond Euphoria relishes in a freedom never seen before in Sabella’s oeuvre, a freedom where possibilities are limitless and new fictional spaces beckon to be explored.



Life's Rich Pattern
The National - Arts & Life section
May 5, 2011

the national UAE Dubai

...Now based in Berlin and London, his new photographs and photomontages, currently on show in his exhibition Euphoria and Beyond at the Empty Quarter Gallery in Dubai, offer a more joyful, vigorous viewpoint - challenging by pure coincidence the region's new energy engendered by what has become as the Arab Spring...


Euphoria and Beyond
By Charlotte Bank

May 13, 2011


This new-found freedom is further explored in “Beyond Euphoria”, the series Sabella was working on when demonstrations erupted in Tunisia and Egypt. “Beyond Euphoria” invites the viewer into multi-layered landscapes, indefinable, yet attractive, stretching toward a far horizon.

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