'Salt Bride': Creating art with the Dead Sea

'Salt Bride': Creating art with the Dead Sea

Now at Marlborough Contemporary

Text: Su Fen Tan

Site: My Modern Met
Image: Studio Sigalit Landau/Marlborough Contemporary

See what happens when a dress is submerged in the Dead Sea for two years

Israeli artist Sigalit Landau grew up in Jurusalem. Her childhood home was perched on a hill that looked out on the northern banks of the Dead Sea, which she visits with her family on weekends. "Sigalit Landau has been scratching the surfaces for over two decades. But the bruises are still open; the pain doesn't seem to ease. She spreads salt crystals on open injuries, blends them in sugar, covers them in papier-mâché, immerses them in the Dead Sea. But their bloody presence is always here." That is the introduction to Sigalit Landau's website, further concurring her special affinity for the Dead Sea. 


For her latest project called Salt Bride, Landau created a captivating eight-part photo series that documented a gown's transformation in the Dead Sea. Landau submerged a black gown in the waters in 2014, returning every three months to capture its gradual transformations. Due to the salinity of the Dead Sea, glimmering salt crystals started to form over the gown, eventually encasing it. According to Landau, the gown appeared "like snow, like sugar, like death's embrace".

'Salt Bride': Creating art with the Dead Sea (фото 1)

The project was inspired by S. Ansky's 1916 play Dybbuk, which told the tale of a young Hasidic woman who becomes possessed by the spirit of a deceased lover. The gown used in Salt Bride is a replica of the one worn in the play, while the crystallised salt represents the supernatural force from the story. 


Take a look at images of the gown's transformation in the Dead Sea here:

The photographs of 'Salt Bride' are on display at London's Marlborough Contemporary until September 3, 2016.


Related stories:

Art in Rio: Larger-than-life athlete installations by artist JR

Catch famous works of art with Google's Art & Culture app

9 Malaysian artists to follow on Instagram