back to the homepageAll material is copyrighted. Click to read the details.find an artistwhat´s going downwho are we and what do we do?
back to the homepageback to the homepagewhat´s new & the site all about itOrdering Back issues of Arts Dialoguesubmit material / help with our work
find: Film Photography U.S.A.

Mark Sadan  

photographer, filmaker, U.S.A.

Mark Sadan with Natasha and David Matlow, Montana, 1999. Photo: Steve Matlow.

Raised in Arizona U.S.A. in the fifties, Mark Sadan moved to Israel at the age of 17 in an attempt to reconnect with his Jewish heritage. His article "God's Holy Mountain," printed in Herald of the South in 1992, discusses this. While travelling through the Netherlands a Charlie Chaplin film festival inspired him so much that on his return to the U.S., he informed his family that he wanted to study acting. In his first year at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts he worked as a movie usher to support himself and then won an academic scholarship for his second year. At that time he also wrote three one act poetry-plays which were among the first performed at the Cafe La Mama (an avant garde theatre space), The plays received favourable reviews in the Village Voice.

On completion of his theatre studies he returned to Israel where he became a member of the Haifa Repetory theatre and also directed several plays for a semi-professional kibbutz theatre. After a visit to the Shrine of the Bab and a conversation with a man he thought was a gardener, but turned out to have been Mr. Faizi. He decided to investigate the Bahá´í Faith by hitchiking through Turkey to Iran. He stayed with Bahá´ís in Tehran for three months and worked as an English Teacher. He returned to New York where several months later he formally joined the Bahá´í Faith.

It was during that same period of time he decided to make a committment to following his love of film and began to work as an independent experimental film-maker.
After a period of struggle and learning and even considering giving up on film when he met a 9 month pregnant young Englishwoman and ended up making a three minute film of her observing herself in a mirror and falling asleep in a rocking chair. The film "Rosebud" won first prize at the Rhode Island School of Design's experimental film festival. With the several hundred dollars prize money and a sense of encouragment he went on to make more experimental independent films such as 'Laughing Bear' and had his work featured at the New York Film Festival and received two 'Cineprobe' screenings of his work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Harvest Time on the Isle of Wight, photograph by
Mark Sadan, U.S.A.

Armeephelan dancer in bronze
(between sculpture by Henry Moore)
Photograph by Mark Sadan,1999.
During this same period of time he became the director of the New York City Photo-Film unit teaching high school drop outs media skills as part of the national war on poverty of that time. At the age of 28 he recieved a two year fellowship to the New York University Graduate Film and Television Institute. During his last semeser at NYU he began to produce films for Sesame Street and continued for two years to direct many of their early movies. He then produced short films for NBC televisions children's programming includiing 8 music videos the popular music group of that time, 'Seals and Crofts'.

It was while a student at New York University his photography teacher Paul Caponegro said to the class, "I understand there is a Bahá´í in this class...this means Light, and as photographer anything that has to do with light interests me"

During the 70's and early 80's Sadan was active in making educational, documentary films, continuing with his independent experimental work and also producting and directiing eight films for the Bahá´ís in the USA and the Bahá´í World Centre in Haifa, Israel. He was invited to come along as the producer / director of the "The Green Light Expedition", filming Ruhiyyih Khanum as she travelled by boat through the tributaries of the Amazon River and also visiting the high mountain ranges of Peru and Bolivia. They filmed 36 tribal groups over a period of six months in 1975-76. As he approached the age of 40 Sadan decided to concentrate on photography as a way to express his passion and vision.

The Monument Gardens, Bahá´í World Centre, Mount Carmel,
Photograph by Mark Sadan, U.S.A. From the book and postcard series, Tablet of Carmel, published by Nightingale Books, 27 Rutland Gate, London, SW7 IPD, U.K. 1992.

Photograph by Mark Sadan, U.S.A. from "Meditations on the Blessed Beauty", a book of short texts accompanied with photographs by Mark Sadan taken in Iceland, published by the UK. Bahá´í Publishing Trust, 1992

In 1992 Gordon Kerr of Nightingale Books, ( U.K. Bahá´í Publishing Trust) produced three photo-books featuring his photographs for the centenary of Baha'u'llah's passing; "Meditations of the Blessed Beauty" and "Tablet of Carmel and the Most Holy Tablet". For the first book he travelled around Iceland and Norway, using the stunning scenery to accompany the selections of Baha'u'llah's meditations. The other two books featured photographs in soft sepia tones taken at the international Bahá´í centre on Mount Carmel, in Haifa and at Baha'u'llah's final resting place in Bahji

2003: Mark Sadan's photographic work has been featured in leading international photo magazines such as "La Photographica" (Spain), "Zoom" (Italy), "Iris", (Brazil), "Nippon" and Asahi" (Japan), "Scwarz/Weis", (Germany), "Foto-Forum", (Norway). His work is also found in private and museum collections. His dance photography was shown at the National Museum of Dance, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., U.S.A.

See or for examples of his work and writing.

Contact: Mark Sadan at:

  • Photograph: Harvest Time on the Isle of Wight, Arts Dialogue, June 2002
  • Photograph: Armeephelan dancer in bronze, Arts Dialogue, June 2001
  • Photograph: Butoh dancer, Arts Dialogue, October 2000
  • Article and photograph: Some reflections on Butoh, Arts Dialogue, December 1995
  • Artist Profile: Arts Dialogue, December 1994
  • Mentioned: cards by Nightingale Books - U.K., BAFA newsletter, December 1992
  • Letter: on using the nude in one's art, BAFA newsletter, December 1991
  • Letter: BAFA newsletter, December 1988

Arts Dialogue, Dintel 20, NL 7333 MC, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands