SALT BRIDE, 2016
Marlborough Contemporary, London, UK
In her project of extracting the archaic from contemporary Israeli reality, Sigalit Landau’s effective image-making generator absorbs diverse mundane ingredients (a tape-recorder, a hammer, a wall, a door, a beach) and designates them as symbols. Trees, plants, minerals, buildings, landscapes, and the human body are subjected in her continually growing body of work to the same cosmic ritual cycles in space and in time. Treated by the artist, they are transformed into images. These images not only visually resemble the objects they refer to; rather, it seems that the artist seeks to point to magical connections between one and the other.
In this work, a Hassidic dress made of a thick black fabric was submerged in the Dead Sea with the aid of ropes and weights to oppose the natural resistance of the water’s high salinity that makes animate and inanimate objects float. Submerged underwater for several months, the black dress was coated with salt, its color gradually changing to white as it turned into a solid crystalline pillar. The crystallized object was kept underwater so that it would continue to thicken. Eight photographs were produced of this process, their measurements congruent with those of the actual dress, showing the stages of the dress’s crystallization and its gradual transformation.