“Steve Sabella: Independence” Exhibition Review

My review of the exhibition, “Steve Sabella: Independence”, which was on view (October 26–December 6, 2014) at Meem Gallery in Dubai may be found in the March/April 2015 issue of Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism.

Independence 9 from the series Independence (2013) by Steve Sabella; courtesy Meem Gallery.

Independence 9 from the series Independence (2013) by Steve Sabella;
courtesy Meem Gallery.

Here is an excerpt from the review:

“In the Middle East, one’s identity is often defined by a passport. When someone mentions a country or place, a mental image of that location and its people is frequently constructed. In much of his work, Steve Sabella has questioned this construction, which is built by time and memory, as identity is much more complex than it appears.

Born in Jerusalem, Sabella, who often considers the plight and struggle of the Palestinian people within his work, had at first glance appeared to deviate from this course when he created his Independence series, a body of photographic works realized in 2013. The exhibition at Meem Gallery consisted of seventeen deliberately grainy images of figures floating in an abyss-like sea of blackened water. The bodies are distorted and ambiguous and could even be described as painterly, as their representation within the water appears almost to be created with gestural brush strokes. The images were bonded directly onto acrylic sheets using the diasec process, which give the two-dimensional photographs a sheen-like quality…”

From Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts & Cultural Criticism (42, no. 5), page 30. For the full article, please visit vsw.org/afterimage/back-issues/ or subscribe to Afterimage at vsw.org/afterimage/subscribe/.

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