featuring Steve Sabella

Steve Sabella – Photography 1997-2014

Hatje Cantz and Akademie der Künste, Berlin, 2014


Texts by Hubertus von Amelunxen
Foreword by Kamal Boullata (PDF) 

Designed by onlab

read Hubertus von Amelunxen’s essay “Translation” (PDF)

view slide show
view on Hatje Cantz website

The Parachute Paradox

Kerber Verlag, 2016

By Steve Sabella



Designed by Verena Gerlach

view slide show

read chapter 8
view on Kerber Verlag website

Fragments From Our Beautiful Future

Kerber Verlag, 2017


Texts by Hubertus Von Amelunxen, Ella Shohat, A.S. Bruckstein, T.J. Demon, Nat Muller, Abdul-Rahim Al-Shaikh, Marleen Stoessel and Elliot R. Wolfson.

Foreword by Jill Bumiller

Designed by Ta-Trung

Published for the Fragments From Our Beautiful Future exhibition
The Bumiller Collection, Berlin, Germany

May 19 – August 13, 2017


read T.J. Demos’ essay “Beyond Finitude: Steve Sabella’s 38 Days of Re-Collection” (PDF)



view slide show

view on Kerber Verlag website

visit The Bumiller Collection website

New Vision – Arab Contemporary Art in the 21st Century

TransGlobe Publishing and Thames & Hudson, 2009


Edited by Hossein Amirsadeghi, Salwa Mikdadi & Nada M. Shabout


“Five groundbreaking essays offer the best context to date for contemporary Arab art. These are followed by some 90 superbly illustrated profiles of key artists, organizations and galleries. Mixing the well known (such as Mona Hatoum or Susan Hefuna) with the up and coming (for example, Steve Sabella or Mireille Astore).”

One of the most important themes running throughout all of Sabella’s work is the concept of exile, the result of growing up in a divided city such as Jerusalem: ‘As far as I remember I always felt out of place in my city of birth. Alienation was surrounding me. Kamal Boullata [another Jerusalem artist] remarked…how I function like an artist in exile even though I lived in my city of birth. It took me a few years to understand the meaning of his words. I was not “physically” in exile. It was Jerusalem that was exiled and hence…all those who lived in it were in exile.’



purchase on Amazon

Archaeology of the Future

Maretti Editore, 2014

Steve Sabella: An Encounter by Karin Adrian von Roque
Discoveries of a Mental Journey by Beatrice Benedetti
In the Darkroom with Steve Sabella by Leda Mansour
Archaeology of the Future by Steve Sabella (PDF)

Published for the Archaeology of the Future solo exhibition International Center for Photography Scavi Scaligeri, Verona, Italy

October 8 – November 16, 2014


In collaboration with Boxart Gallery (Verona) and Berloni Gallery (London)



view full catalogue (PDF)

International Center of Photography Scavi Scaligeri website 

On the Arab-Jew, Palestine, and Other Displacements 

Pluto Press, 2017


By Ella Shohat


Winner, Best Memoir, Palestine Book Awards (2017)


read Ella Shohat’s foreword on the works of Steve Sabella (PDF) 

view on Pluto Press website


steve sabella studio book projects 

The Artist’s Curse
To be published in 2019


The Artist’s Curse takes the form of a series of short reflections and pieces of advice, fragments that together form a well-rounded and dimensional text about the art world, written from the perspective of a practicing artist. Since September 2017, Sabella has published a new passage—or “curse”—online every day, and will do so for a year. The content of these short-form texts can range from revelatory notions of the artist’s life to revealing rogue practices of the art world. Each are titled separately, and can read like prose poems or compacted theses. Psalm-like, they invite a daily glance, a meditation, or a pragmatic choice.



view The Artist’s Curse website


Palestine – UNSETTLED
To be published in 2019


Palestine – UNSETTLED is a photo book using white pages like walls. Exhibited within its space are 100 images Steve Sabella took in Palestine during the Second Intifada (2000-2007), along with a number of critical essays.

As a native Jersulamite who lived under occupation for thirty-two years, Sabella sees the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians also as a conflict of the image. Israel holds the upper hand because of its greater resources of image formation, control, and circulation. In this sense, Sabella tries to liberate the image held hostage. It is with this mission that the journey of Palestine –UNSETTLED begins: we start in a theatre, as if Palestine’s conflicts were a staged drama. Yet there is an urgency to break the fourth wall—the imaginary barrier separating actors and audience. We are soon led out to a penetrating reality, ending on the besieged shores of Gaza and a kid taking his leap of faith into the sea. Along the way, the spectator experiences an unseen Palestine.



winner of a 2017 AFAC Visual Arts grant

exhibition catalogues


For the Fragments solo exhibition

Berloni Gallery, London, UK


March 7 – May 10, 2014



visit Berloni Gallery website


Free Falling into the Future by Madeline Yale Preston (PDF)

In Conversation with Steve Sabella

by Madeline Yale Preston (PDF)

Foreword by Meagan Kelly Horsman (PDF)

For the Independence solo exhibition

Meem Gallery, Dubai, UAE

October 8 – November 16, 2014

view full catalogue (PDF)
visit Meem Gallery website



Beyond Palestine by Malu Halasa (PDF)
Foreword by Abed Al Kadiri (PDF)

For the Layers solo exhibition
Contemporary Art Platform, Kuwait City, Kuwait

September 21 – October 21, 2014


view full catalogue (PDF)
visit Contemporary Art Platform website

Palestine – Contemporary Art from within and beyond the border

Imago Mundi Luciano Benetton Collection, 2016



view page on Steve Sabella (PDF)

view full catalogue (PDF)


German Cool

For the German Cool group exhibition Salsali Private Museum, Dubai, UAE

November 16, 2016 – March 19, 2016



view page on Steve Sabella (PDF)
view full catalogue (PDF)


In Exile

Conversation with the Artist by Sara Rossino (PDF)

For the In Exile solo exhibition
Metroquadro Gallery, Rivoli, Italy

May 6 – July 17, 2010


view full catalogue (PDF)
visit Metroquadro Gallery website

Nel Mezzo Del Mezzo

For the Nel Mezzo Del Mezzo group exhibition

Museo Riso, Palermo, Italy

Curated by Marco Bazzini, Bartomeu Mari & Christine Macel


October 10 – November 30, 2015


view page on Steve Sabella (PDF)
view full catalogue (PDF)

Première Biennale Des Photographes Du Monde Arabe Contemporain

(The First Biennial of Photographers of the Contemporary Arab World)

For the Première Biennale Des Photographes Du Monde Arabe Contemporain group exhibition

Arab World Institute, Paris, France


November 11, 2015 – January 17, 2016


view pages on Steve Sabella (PDF)

view full catalogue (PDF)

Walls and Margins

For the Walls and Margins group exhibition 

Barjeel Art Foundation, Shajah, UAE


October 21 2015 – February 1, 2016


view pages on Steve Sabella (PDF)

read Perturbed Visions essay by Nat Muller (PDF) 

visit Barjeel Art Foundation website

Yalla Shebab Film Festival // 2015


Lecce, Italy


June 12 – 15, 2015


Organized by Association MENA

view page on Steve Sabella (PDF)

View from Inside: Contemporary Arab Photography, Video and Mixed Media Art 

Schilt Publishing, 2014

Featuring essays by Karin Adrian von Roques, Claude W. Sui, Samir Mohda and Mona Khazindar

For the Fotofest Biennial group exhibition 

Houston, Texas, USA

March 15 – April 27, 2014

For the Abu Dhabi Festival in Abu Dhabi, UAE


March 21 – April 21, 2015


order on Amazon

visit Fotofest website

visit Abu Dhabi Festival website 

Recreational Purpose

Edited by Noura Al Sayeh and Sulaf Zakharia

Recreational Purpose: Bahrain Revisited by Sulaf Zakharia (PDF) 
Seeing and Unseeing Through Recreational Purpose by Nat Muller (PDF) 
Insider/Outsider Photographers and the Intra-cultural Tourism Landscape by Isabella Ellahah Hughes (PDF)  
Foreword (PDF)

For the Recreational Purpose group exhibition
Bahrain National Museum

Manama, Bahrain


April 13 – August 15, 2014


visit the Bahrain National Museum website

Keep Your Eye On The Wall

Saqi Books, 2013

Edited by Olivia Snaije and Mitchell Alber

Foreword by Raja Shehadeh

For the Keep Your Eye On The Wall group exhibition

Les Recontres d’Arles Photographie

Arles, France

July 2 – September 23, 2013

Photoquai Biennial

Paris, France

September 12 – October 2, 2013

Contemporary Art Platform

Kuwait City, Kuwait  


March 12 – April 12, 2014


order on Saqi Books
vist Les Recontres d’Arles Photographie website
visit Photoquai Biennial website
visit Contemporary Art Platform website

Les Recontres d’Arles Photographie

Actes Sud, 2013

Edited by Jean Noël Jeanneney

For the Keep Your Eye On The Wall group exhibition
Les Recontres d’Arles Photographie Arles, France

July 2 – September 23, 2013


order on Actes Sud
visit Les Recontres d’Arles photographie website

The Changing Room: Arab Reflections on Praxis and Times

Edited by Aida Eltorie

Steve Sabella in conversation with Sara Rossino (PDF) 

For The Changing Room group exhibition
Metroquadro Gallery

Turin, Italy

September 22 – October 22, 2011


visit the Metroquadro Gallery website

Told, Untold, Retold

23 Stories Through Time & Space

Skira Books, 2011

For the Told | Untold | Retold group exhibition

MATHAF: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar


30 December 2010 – 28 May 2011


Curated by Sam Bardaouil & Till Fellrath

view pages on Steve Sabella (PDF)


order book on Skira

visit MATHAF website

Palestine: la Creation dans tous ses Etats

(Palestine: Creation in All its States) 

Edited by Mona Khazindar and Djamila Chakour

For the Palestine: la Creation dans tous ses Etats group exhibition

L’Institut du Monde Arabe & Maison européenne de la photographie, Paris, France


June 23 – November 22, 2009


Bahrain National Museum, Manama, Bahrain


visit IMA website