The photographs are on display at London's Marlborough Contemporary until September 3, 2016...
Israeli artist Sigalit Landau created an eight-part photo series called 'Salt Bride' - using the Dead Sea. She submerged a black gown in its waters in 2014 and returned multiple times over the span of three months to capture its salinity-induced transformations, as glimmering crystals gradually conquered the dark fabric.
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.
Landau’s practice is deeply connected with the Dead Sea. The artist shot some of her most iconic videos in its water, and has been experimenting with the salt crystallization of objects for years. The Dead Sea – the lifeless, lowest place on earth, in which the dress was immersed in one state, and from which it was pulled out in a very different form – sets an anticipated yet uncontrolled organic process in motion.