TRIBUTE TO BEIRUT - Salâmun li Bayrût - STEVE SABELLA.
Elsewhere is a collage of black and white images from 19th century historic Palestine, with some pictures from Syria and Lebanon, hand-colored in the past to give them back then a sense of reality. I collaged them, recreating the feeling of the place as if one traveled through a time machine, and was suddenly present. It feels as if the people look at me in many images - the new photographer, blending layers of time and history. And then this new photographer becomes the viewer, you, present magically in the past.
Elsewhere is the Renaissance of culture and life constantly under erasure. Yet, the spirit of the place and its people will always be alive. Elsewhere is a journey to the land that once was, the land, the place that lives in our imagination. I feel it is my seminal work after all those years of looking into the image to discover their hidden realities. I recently wrote about how the archaeology of the future is the archaeology of the image and its genealogy. Now look at these works and think of time, the layers of history, archaeology, genealogy, geography, and anthropology. Now add a dose of imagination and mythology.
Below, I include the ones where I placed scenes from Lebanon in the heart of Palestine, revealing a similar spirit. There is a Damascus in Jerusalem, as much as there is a Jerusalem in Beirut, and a Beirut in Haifa. You can identity the scenes that come from Lebanon when you look at the original monochromes.
Photochrome 7. You see Baalbeck "Temple du Soleil" as if part of Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem, and on top in the far horizon is a scene from the actual site (as if a New Temple).
Photochrome 10. You also see the remains of Baalbeck, in front of the interior of a house in Damascus. The water scene is from the port of Jaffa. Imagine 1948 here!
Photochrome 11. Baalbeck in the foreground, and Sour Tyr on top. And in between, people sitting at the Dead Sea in Palestine.
Photochrome 15. Cactus from a Palestinian village in front of a field leading to Tiberius lake, with Lebanon’s Arz trees in the background.
Photochrome 19. The people, water, or the foreground are from Saida, with Damascus urban scene in the middle, and the pinkish hills on top are from Syria, and on top is a scenic mountain view from Beirut.