© 2016 Sigalit Landau. All rights reserved
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DEAD SWAN (DUNNER-KEBAB JEWELRY BOX), 2016

The Musical Jewelry Box is a symbol of Europes's expertise and past lifestyle - romantic in it's essence and in it's tradition, a small treasure chest to keep a woman's most precious charms, not intended to be shared. A seemingly ordinary music box, where a small ballerina once revolved, plays 'The Dying Swan' by Saint-Saens (instead of Tchaikovsky's 'Swan Lake'). Surrounded by antique jewellry of european and mixed origin, pirouettes not a ballerina, but a doner kebab. Turning like the oriental street food, this hybrid was created by Landau, using watermelan flesh, which she has dried in salt and coated with epoxy resin, to eternalise the bare barbecue dance, in front of swan-blood sprinkled mirros. The sight of blood, our innermost substance, mystically loaded with meaning throughout all cultures, is inevitably linked to the display of violence.

The Doner Kebab, the fast-food of the middle eastern cuisine, serves as a prime example for assimilation.

The eastern catering for the western civilisation, due to immigration, stands in contrast to the fear of foreign influences and their yet unknown aftermath on what is familiar to us since time immemorial. All these things come to mind with the shift Landau performs in ‘Dead Swan’: a well orchestrated collaboration, resulting in a quasi ready-made, Swiss manufactured Jewelry Music Box - the transformation of a well kept place to a street booth, perhaps a compromise of a sacred intimate treasure/phantom shared and handed out with and to strangers.

Music box, dried watermelon, epoxy resin, jewelry, tune of the Dying Swan

24 x 25 x 22 cm (9.45 x 9.84 x 8.66 in)

Edition of 36

Sigalit Landau's project for Venice 2011 consisted of three major installations inside the pavilion, and a fourth one in the backyard. Water, salt and earth were the principal metaphors in this subtle but powerful exhibition. The ground level installation was a huge pipe system, in which water was running in a closed circle, like blood through the body's arteries. The pipes lead to a concealed space, which the artist discovered and revealed, previously sealed between the lower and middle floors of the pavilion. The upper floor was the arena in which a cinematographic scene of a sinking salt pair of shoes was projected on a large wall. The shoes, previously dipped in the Dead Sea, were now melting the ice of a lake in Gdansk and sinking into the cold waters. The sense of lifeless water was enhanced by the presence in the space of a fishermen's net, also covered with Dead Sea salt. The middle floor connected the lower and upper floors into one entity, presenting a debate round table on which 12 laptops featured different segments of the same and one scene, showing a little girl under the table, tying the shoelaces of the debaters In the backyard, at last, a circle of 12 bronze pairs of shoes was lying on the floor, echoing the round table and the debaters' shoes left behind after fleeing from the scene in the movie. 

Curator : Jean de Loisy, Ilan Wizgan

Cycle Spun (2007) comprises three discrete video loops by Sigalit Landau (b. 1969). Functioning together as a trilogy and a triptych of moving images, the videos each depict a performative act of spinning, or circular motion, against a landscape backdrop in Landau's native Israel. In the wall-sized projection DeadSee (2005), a cord connects five hundred watermelons, creating a six-meter, spiral shaped raft on the salt-saturated waters of the Dead Sea. Secured within this sculptural configuration, the artist floats with an arm outstretched toward a collection of "wounded" fruits, their intensely red flesh revealed. The nautilus form gradually unfurls, leaving the surface of the water a nearly monochromatic azure and the artist's body exposed. 

Curator : Klaus Biesenbach

In the center of this multi-space installation I have reconstructed and transformed an industrial large dishwasher, which I bought from a Kibbutz in Israel. This digestive space was surrounded by some other rooms; one filled with lamps hung at or below waist level, thickly encrusted with glistening salt crystals: another furnished as a living room, circa 1950's, with a kitchen. The hotplates of the stove had been replaced by speakers, from which the voices of four women could be heard talking about their life experiences. Around the corner was a small key-cutting stall, and the keys this workshop produced were not exact copies, but pendants to the original, seamlessly interlocking with their ward. The large hall provided a very different scenario altogether. Human figures climbed architectural structures and ladders or lied on the floor; others stood on their heads in big metal buckets and tubs. They seemed like anatomical models, flayed nudes fashioned from papier-mâché, with twisted newspaper cords for ribs and muscles, and painted the color of blood. One of the structures resembled a giant döner kebab, referencing all the kebab houses on the streets of Berlin and elsewhere; another echoed Brancusi's symbol of hope, the Endless Column, a ceiling-high stack of pyramidal shapes. In a corner, whole peeled watermelons were being dehydrated on a large metal bed of salt, their consistency turning to that of flesh. 

Curator: Gabriele Horn

I created a remote, hostile living habitat, peopled by a Sisyphean community occupied with overcoming and surviving some undisclosed disaster, and making a new start. I transformed the huge space to simulate another place (the environs of the Dead Sea) and an indefinable period, with signs of Modernity (such as an old car, a bicycle and some machines) alluding to sometime in the mid-20th century. The show's title, as well as other clues included in the gigantic installation, pointed to the Second World War and the Holocaust. Layered images, laden simultaneously with local and universal meanings, both historical and contemporary, filled the space and jolted the viewer: the Dead Sea, both annihilating and purifying; images of crucifixion, sacrifice and redemption; a volcano, a bustling hive, a deadly furnace; and overhanging images of Eros, the infinite life force, overcoming Death's finiteness.

Curator: Mordechai Omer

An installation, created over the course of twenty-two months in my studio in Tel Aviv, and shown in the former Alon Segev Gallery space in Tel Aviv, which was situated two floors below ground level in the city center. The first room contained a subterranean plantation of large fruit, each fruit made of papier-mâché produced from an edition of a daily newspaper. The time elapsed since 28.9.00 - the day the El-Aqsa intifada broke out - had become concentrated into a massive volume of daily fruit. In the second section of the show, I reconstructed a typical Mediterranean rooftop, with a dark panoramic skyline. On this roof, three sculpted figures were picking, hauling and tallying the red fruit produced in the first orchard-like space. The almost total destruction of whatever characterizes human life leaves behind its residue: about ten small stations occupied by two men, a woman, jars, a food hoard, wine glasses, pipes, balls. Among the detritus, a giant photograph of Tel Aviv on the wall and a diary on the floor, with handwritten notes in Hebrew; a few lines on the war which brought about the destruction of the world.

THREAD WAXING SPACE INSTALLATION, 2001

The show at the 'Thread Waxing Space' was site-specific and prophetic [see 'Arab Snow' video]. It related primarily to the gallery space - at first an early twentieth-century factory, part of a thriving fashion industry; then a non-profit installation and performance gallery. Due to the rising rents in SoHo, my installation at The 'Thread Waxing Space' was the last show before its closure. 

Curator : lia gangitano

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