Color print, 163 × 109 cm

In this work, I submerged a Hassidic dress made of thick black fabric in the waters of the Dead Sea. To drench the dress in the saline lake, I had used the aid of ropes and weights in order to oppose the natural resistance of the water’s high salinity that makes objects float. Submerged underwater, the black dress was coated with salt; its color gradually changed to white as it turned into a solid, crystalline pillar. Eight photographs documenting this process were produced. The measurements of the images are congruent with those of the dress, illustrating the stages of the object’s crystallization and gradual transformation.

The dress I used for this work was a replica of a gown worn by Leah, the heroine of the play “The Dybbuk.” The legendary Israeli actress Hanna Rovina played the role of Leah for the four decades that the play was staged by the Habima Theater. The black version of this dress was worn by Rovina in the play during the scene when Hanan, Leah’s dead lover, had come to possess her and spoke from her lips.

In the photographs, an ultra-Orthodox dress can be seen transforming into a white bridal gown, of the kind the character of Leah wore to celebrate against her will a marriage with a man who could not replace the man she loved and lost.

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