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S E A R C H

1997

B &W infrared photography
13 x 20.5 cm


 
   
       
 

I built for myself a new world. My World. I try in most of my work to show a trace of light. I jump to an invisible world - to a place where only the imagination can reach. There, I start to sense a little of the private intimacy of the world, its hidden gentleness, the power of light and its behavior. In my photographs, I offer the viewer the opportunity to be transported from a normal and known dimension to another one. To one where the imagination is the only bridge one can rely on as means of vision.

“Who ever wants to see the invisible has to penetrate more deeply into the visible”

 

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REVIEWS
 
 
 
The Harrowed Hands of Palestine
By Sarah Irving
Electronic Intifada
November 2, 2015
 
Electronic Intifada
 
In “Search,” for instance, black-and-white images show the Palestinian landscape as ethereal and luminescent, while the dark shapes of prison bars and silhouetted figures impose themselves onto it... 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 - Photography 1997-2014
By Hubertus von Amelunxen
 
Monograph
 
For the series Search (1997) Sabella worked with an infrared film that made all the contrasts in the light of the things even more evident and pronounced. Whether these are trees, cliffs, water, or leaves, insignia of nature, photographed in Jerusalem and elsewhere, they oscillate between dazzling light and intense darkness. Apart from views being fragmented and dissected, trees, leaves, ears of corn, cliffs, and gardens being focused on, the things are alienated, “so similar they are distorted,” to use Benjamin’s terms… They do not return as they were or could have been, but are condensed in the gaze.
 

 
 
 

Steve Sabella - I am From Jerusalem
By Christa Paula
Euphoria & Beyond Exhibition Catalogue, The Empty Quarter Gallery in Dubai, 2011


Steve Sabella’s oeuvre unfolds like a book. Its chapters chronicle the artist’s journey towards visual and intellectual maturation and bravely investigate his shifting psychological states, narrating a deeply personal individuation process. Thus, in order to fully appreciate the triumph of Sabella’s recent work, it is vital to take into account the evolution of his practice, from his first photographic series Search (1997) and Identity (2002) to the work presented in his current solo exhibition Euphoria & Beyond at the Empty Quarter Gallery in Dubai (May 2 to June 11, 2011).

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Exodus and Back
By Myrna Ayad
Canvas, 2011

Crucially, whereas Sabella’s name may mislead, the titles of his artworks do not. In Exile, Euphoria, Exit, Beyond Euphoria, In Transition and a host of others are literal descriptions of his state of mind. This makes ‘reading’his photographic works a lot more fluid and, in many respects, helps unfold a photo diary of sorts. it also accounts for a succinct psychological portfolio of a man who has searched for himself through art since 1994 and through his first body of work in 1997, aptly titled Search.

Steve Sabella in Conversation with Sara Rossino
The Changing Room Exhibition Catalogue, Spazio Qubi in Turin, 2011

I wrote in 1997: “I created myself a New World, My World”. Today, I feel more like I have created myself a New Self. In Jerusalem, I never breathed fresh air. I had to exit to the skies to survive, but one sky was not enough. I needed to journey to the galaxies. There, I found Euphoria and Beyond Euphoria. For the first time in my life, I feel I have a break and I can breath some fresh air.

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Steve Sabella in Exile - Conversation with the Artist (English & Italian)
By Sara Rossino
In Exile Exhibition Catalogue, Metroquadro Gallery in Rivoli, Turin, 2010

sabella - sara rossino review

Growing up in Jerusalem, therefore, Steve already felt that he did not belong to that dimension or to any of the proposed classifications and so, “to escape the rapid changes in Jerusalem and its transformation into a city which was foreign to its own inhabitants, particularly to those who grew up there”, he begins to build himself a “New World” which he, himself, defines later as a Hyperreality.

The search for a mental dimension, hidden beyond the visible, the possibility of “another” reality which characterizes the more recent works, is already present in his first works from 1997 to 2003. “Who wants to see the invisible has to penetrate more deeply into the visible”. With these words Sabella accompanies the Search series in 1997, in which the use of infra­red photography allows him to imagine and define the existence of another world beyond the visible, in which the images of reality are transfigured to connote a mental galaxy, Mentalopia, as the artist now defines it, in which he finds refuge, a space which he proposes instead of the reality to which he feels he does not belong.

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