April 5, 2018
Art Paris Art Fair
STEVE SABELLA’S EVOLUTION
Contemporary Art Platform Kuwait mounts a never-before-seen constellation of the Jerusalem-born artist’s photographic works for Art Paris this April, CAP Kuwait is pleased to present a solo booth featuring the works of award-winning and internationally exhibited artist Steve Sabella, born in Jerusalem, Palestine, and based in Berlin since 2010. Sabella has previously shown in France for La première Biennale des photographes du monde arabe contemporain at Institut du Monde Arabe (IMA) and Maison Européenne de la Photographie (2015) — Palestine, La création dans tous ses états at IMA (2009) — and Keep Your Eye on the Wall at Les Rencontres d’Arles (2013). IMA has commissioned Sabella as one of the exhibiting artists for its 30th anniversary mural, which will be displayed in May 2018. Sabella was also featured on France24 Arabic this past summer, in an interview with Liana Saleh.
Since his beginnings in the mid 1990s, Sabella has consistently pushed the photographic medium to its limits. His experimentation in darkroom processes and digital composition, along with his bold responses to the pressing political conflicts of the last decades, has garnered him an international reputation. Critics have placed him in a distinguished caliber of contemporary artists from the Arab World and beyond, those who speak a visual language both local and global.
The works in EVOLUTION attest to Sabella’s ability to deftly redraw the line between individual and collective, familiar and alien, and even photography and painting. The vibrant, pulsing Sinopia (2014) began with the artist photographing Bahrain’s political graffiti, as well as its overpainting and erasure by the police. Digitally slicing and layering these images, Sabella merged the voices of dissent and authority into one luminous chorus. The collages of the Metamorphosis (2012) series were developed from a similar starting point: photographs of a cactus standing on a windowsill, loops of barbed wire or the embankments of a canal. Tiled and interleaved, these static objects become alien, making up compositions that seem to circulate form and color like breath.
Independence (2013) is a series shot entirely on the iPhone camera, but the images produced are anything but familiar—lithe bodies afloat in a rich, black void, appearing stalled between stillness and motion.
Sabella’s artworks are held in several major international collections, including the British Museum and Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art. Sinopia has been acquired for the permanent collections of the Bahrain National Museum and the Ramzi Dalloul private museum, Beirut, which also holds a full edition of the Metamorphosis collages. His 2014 monograph, Steve Sabella – Photography 1997-2014 was published by Hatje Cantz and the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, which awarded him the Ellen Auerbach Award for Photography in 2008. Other recent publications include Archaeology of the Future (Maretti Editore,2014), the publication for his retrospective at Scavi Scaligeri International Center of Photography in Verona, and Fragments From Our Beautiful Future (Kerber Verlag, 2017), accompanying his exhibition at The Bumiller Collection, Berlin.
In addition to his definitive career as a visual artist, Sabella is also an accomplished author. His memoir The Parachute Paradox was published by Kerber Verlag in 2016, and won the Eric Hoffer and Nautilus Book Awards for the best in its genre. London’s Al-Araby Al-Jadeed claimed the book “proposes a subject that is unprecedented in Palestinian literature: the liberation of the self and the homeland through the liberation of the imagination.”