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Photo emulsion on Jerusalem stone

Palestinian home in occupied Jerusalem
classic jerusalem. A forgotten Jerusalem Village


olive trees art


demolished Palestinian homes in Jerusalem art

stone from jerusalem hills


destroyed Palestine



Palestinian house printed on stone


traces of destroyed Palestinian homes


hands printed on stone

photo emulsion on stone. Sheep



jeruslaem well


st ann church in Jerusalem

russian orthodox nun on mount of olives





Jerusalem panorama






Installation of Till the End on iron pillars outside at the Khalil Sakakini Gallery in Ramallah in 2004
art stone installation till the end
khalil sakakini yard ramallah
The Harrowed Hands of Palestine
By Sarah Irving
Electronic Intifada
November 2, 2015
Electronic Intifada

...in “Till the End,” rural scenes and ruined houses — part bucolic, part melancholy — are printed onto fragments of Jerusalem stone, the pale golden limestone characteristic of the area... Sabella manipulated his photographic images to evoke ideas about the land, the people who live and build on it, and their relationship to place. And through each runs the thread of time — of elements of a scene which pass in months or years, and those which remain steadfast.


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
Palestine Sqaure
His visual research as part of the project Jerusalem in Exile (2006) on the mental images of the city, led him to realize how people’s imaginations have been colonized by a system that influences their perception of the actual ground they live on, which he further explored in his essay titled “The Colonization of the Imagination” (2012). It is this idea of internal exile and the image-making surrounding Jerusalem that has inspired much of his work. The 2004 collection Till the End conveyed a Jerusalem as envisioned by the artist.

Discoveries of a Mental Journey
By Beatrice Benedetti
Archeology of the Future Exhibition Catalogue - The International Center of Photography Scavi Scaligeri in collaboration with Boxart Gallery, Verona (2014)
Archaeology of the Future Catalogue

Although the cyclical nature of existence does not seem to escape Sabella, the borderline between past and present can be seen in the Till the End (2004) series. Here a group of stones, gathered in Jerusalem and placed in showcases between the entrance corridor and the first room of the Scavi Scaligeri, appear as archaeological finds. Each rock bears an image, a fragment of memory, which spills over from historgeografical reality into hyper-reality, which is the real place of the artist’s research.


Steve Sabella - Photography 1997-2014
By Hubertus von Amelunxen

Till the End puts a photographic imprint on a stone that itself carries thousands of years in and on it as an unreadable impression… 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...

If the unique peculiarity of the photographic, its ontological character, consists in putting an end to every becoming in time, while at the same time preserving that end as a becoming in the image, then in
Till the End Sabella draws photography into an allegorical configuration of perpetual loss. The spirit of the place applies to the stone, which has been relieved of place, not carried away by erosion but by the hand of man and covered in images that supplement the stone, putting it at the disposal of other interpretations. '. . . We came in a hurry from the twilight of two places at one time . . .'



Steve Sabella in Exile - Conversation with the Artist
Retrospective Review by Sara Rossino - text in Italian & English
Exhibition Catalogue published by the Metroquadro Gallery in Rivoli, Turin - May, 2010


Was this consciousness already present in Till the end? What was the meaning of this work?
"Today I understand better the essence of that experience. Till the end continued my obsession with hyperrealities from Search (1997) and End of Days (2003) where I penetrated through the unseen light an imaginary world which felt for me more real that reality itself. I started living in this constructed reality. So I ask myself today, whether the images on the stones were early visual prophecies about what was happening to Jerusalem and its transformation into an image (eventually disappearing) and how in many ways many of these images accompanied me from childhood."


sabella - sara rossino review


Steve Sabella - I am From Jerusalem
Christa Paula
Exhibition Review for The Empty Quarter Gallery in Dubai

Consequently, Sabella mounted a visual ‘rescue mission.’ He revisited places of personal importance, photographed each site and collected a stone which was then used as the base for the photographic image. The original installation was exhibited outdoors at the Khalil Sakakini Gallery in Ramallah. It 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 following year, Till the End - Spirit of Place was conceptually expanded into a monumental collaborative undertaking, gathering images and memories of Jerusalem as remembered by Palestinians globally. The results were to underscore the artist’s hypothesis: that Jerusalem had been exiled and replaced by a hyper-real construct, a simulacrum deployed in the name of ideology which, not only intended to destroy the plurality of the city but, ultimately, aims to colonize the imagination. The corroboration of his long held suspicions left the artist in a state of near physical and mental collapse.


Steve Sabella
Retrospective review by Martina Corgnati
Contemporary Practices Journal, VI, 2010

... 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. The city is changing, it’s being transformed, covered by complex and even conflicting meanings that it didn’t have before. Well, this kind of experience has not been made just by people who lived or have grown up in Jerusalem: Which city did not undergo an important, maybe even excessive or violent transformation within the past few years, both in the Arab World and outside? What happened for example to Cairo, London, New York where Steve Sabella actually lived and studied, and at the moment resides in London?