Artist submerges a dress in the Dead Sea; the breathtaking transformation when it surfaces

NOTE: It was originally reported, based on multiple credible sources, that the dress was submerged for 2 months. Other sources are reporting the dress was under water for 2 years. The headline and post have been modified until we confirm the correct information.

An art project involving a dress and the Dead Sea has delivered some breathtaking results.

Israeli artist Sigalit Landau submerged a black gown in the waters of the Dead Sea, documenting the process as the dress became coated with salt crystals. The salt lake bordering Israel is Earth’s lowest elevation point on land, with a surface that sits more than 1,400 feet below sea level.

Landau’s “Salt Bride” project is a series of eight color prints that document the transformation of the gown from under water. The photos are on display in London’s Marlborough Contemporary, which explained the inspiration behind the project:

“The traditional Hasidic garment shown in the photographs is a replica of the costume worn by the female character Leah in the canonical Yiddish play, The Dybbuk, as portrayed by legendary actress Hanna Rovina for forty years with the Habima Theatre, first in Russia and then Israel.

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.”

 

The art gallery’s Instagram account featured photos that followed the transformation of the gown.

Sigalit Landau, Salt Bride Preview Tomorrow: 12-2 pm Image: Sigalit Landau, Salt Crystal Bride Gown III, 2014 (detail), Colour Print, 163 x 109 cm. Photo: Studio Sigalit Landau #SaltBride #SigalitLandau #Salt #DeadSea #marlboroughcontemporary

A photo posted by Marlborough Contemporary (@marlborough_contemporary) on

“My work is very much concerned with the body and my body wants to be a mirror of the place, and I believe this is true in reverse as well; the body can be like metaphor, you can write on the sand, salt crystallization can act as a “scab”, it goes back and forth from the land to the body to several narratives” Sigalit Landau interviewed by @keenonmag Marlborough Contemporary is pleased to present “Salt Bride”, a serie of eight large colour prints by @sigalitlandau. Preview: Thursday 28 July 2016, 12:00 – 14:00 Image: Sigalit Landau, Salt Crystal Bride Gown VIII, 2014 (detail). Colour print, 163 x 109. Photo: Studio Sigalit Landau #SaltBride #SigalitLandau #Salt #DeadSea #marlboroughcontemporary

A photo posted by Marlborough Contemporary (@marlborough_contemporary) on

Studio Landau lifting “Small Salt Bride” from the waters of the Dead Sea. Photo: Matanya Tausig #SaltBride #SigalitLandau #Salt #DeadSea #marlboroughcontemporary

A photo posted by Marlborough Contemporary (@marlborough_contemporary) on

 

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Frieda Powers

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