Israeli artist Sigalit Landau decided to immerse a woman’s black dress in the Dead Sea for two years and document its transformation for an eight-part photo series. The process turns a bleak black gown into a sparkling crystalline gown over the course of time.
Salt Bride by Sigalit Landau
Since 2004, the Dead Sea has appeared as a ritualistic motif in the artist’s work. In a dramatic desert landscape, its salty sterility offset by its buoyancy, her art has co-opted the sea to transform the most threatening, or abject, memory into a crystalline object of wonder.
Over the course of three months, more and more salt crystals adhere to the fabric, thickening the gown and turning it from a black mourning gown into a white Bridal gown.
“It looks like snow, like sugar, like death’s embrace,” Landau said of the salt deposits in a statement. The dress is a replica of a traditional garment worn by the protagonist in “The Dybbuk,” a traditional Yiddish play about a bride possessed by, and later exorcised of, a demonic spirit. Symbolically, Landau transforms the garment from a mourning dress to gown of celebration.
The artist documented the progressive crystallization with an oversized photo series exhibited at the Marlborough Contemporary in London.