Israeli artist raises a ghostly bride from the Dead Sea

israeli artist Dead SeaDip a dowdy dress into one of the world’s saltiest lakes and see what happens. Artist Sigalit Landau did, and ended up growing a crystalline gown straight out of Frozen. Take a look at these images. It’s unlikely you can “Let it go”.

The Dead Sea is a frequent topic at Green Prophet. A vast salt lake at the planet’s lowest elevation, it’s a popular tourist site, touching Jordan, Palestine and Israel. Its silvery surface provides a stunning backdrop for photography – most notably Spencer Tunick’s naked float series which raised awareness to the sea’s fragile ecology.  Salt extracted from it’s waters is used for gourmet condiments and beauty products.  It inspires fantastical commercial developments.  And now an Israeli artist has used it to create a gorgeous, yet ghostly, artwork.

landau dead seaSigalit Landau dropped an old-fashioned gown into the water and left it suspended for two months. The garment is a replica of a costume from the Yiddish play “The Dybbuk”, which tells the tale of a young bride possessed by an dark spirit. Over 60 days, the sea chemistry transformed the gown from a symbol associated with evil and madness into the pristine wedding dress it was meant to be.

landau dead seaWeighted to the sea bed, undisturbed, salt began to crystallize on the fabric surface, dramatically transforming the black dress.

landau dead seaPhotographer Yotam From documented the changes, adding more than 150 pounds of weights to his diving gear in order to submerge himself into the gravity-defying saline. The “Salt Bride” series includes eight life-size photographs on view (now through September 3) at London’s Marlborough Contemporary gallery.

landau dead sea

Landau grew up on a hill overlooking the northern banks of the sea, and it’s a recurring theme in her work. You may have seen a video she created –  a self-portrait of her floating on the surface of the lake with an unraveling string of 500 watermelons (image below).

dead sea watermelons

“Over the years, I learnt more and more about this low and strange place,” she said, in a press release. “Still the magic is there waiting for us: new experiments, ideas and understandings. It is like meeting with a different time system, a different logic, another planet. It looks like snow, like sugar, like death’s embrace; solid tears, like a white surrender to fire and water combined.”

the salt bride

Born and raised in Jerusalem, Landau spent several years studying and working in the US and the UK. A graduate of Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, she now lives and works in Tel Aviv. She aspires to create a bridge made of salt to connect Israel and Jordan. See more of her work on her website (link here).

Images by Sigalit Landau & Marlborough Contemporary


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