A 19th Century Dress Submerged in the Dead Sea Becomes Gradually Crystallized with Salt

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Salt Crystal Bride Gown III, 2014. Sigalit Landau & Marlborough Contemporary.

Israeli artist Sigalit Landau's love affair with the Dead Sea stretches back decades, having grown up on a hill that overlooks both the Judean desert and the northern part of this hypersaline lake that is among the saltiest on Earth. In her artistic practice she utilizes the lake both as a backdrop—one of her most iconic artworks involves a video portrait of herself floating in the lake with an unraveling string of 500 watermelons—as well as a means to produce sculptural objects encrusted with thick layers of salt. Sigalit has created salt sculptures of violins, bicycles, boots, and fishing nets covered in carnallite crystals.

Her latest photographic work titled Salt Bride takes us several meters underwater to view the gradual crystallization of a 19th century dress weighted to the floor of the Dead Sea. The dress was inspired by S. Ansky’s famous play The Dybbuk about a young woman possessed by an evil spirit. From Marlborough Contemporary:

Written by S. Ansky between 1913 and 1916, The Dybbuk tells the story of a young bride possessed by an evil spirit and subsequently exorcised. In Landau’s Salt Bride series, Leah’s black garb is transformed underwater as salt crystals gradually adhere to the fabric. Over time, the sea’s alchemy transforms the plain garment from a symbol associated with death and madness into the wedding dress it was always intended to be.

To achieve the photographs, Landau collaborated with photographer Yotam From who had to wear over 150 pounds of weight just to submerge himself in the harsh saline water. The final installation incorporates a series of 8 life-size photographs currently on view at Marlborough Contemporary in London through September 3, 2016. You can read more about the exhibition on Artsy. (via My Modern Met)

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Salt Crystal Bride Gown III, 2014. Sigalit Landau & Marlborough Contemporary.

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Installation view at Marlborough Contemporary.

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Salt Crystal Bride Gown III, 2014. Sigalit Landau & Marlborough Contemporary.

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