The Dead Sea, known for its mud and salty waters, has transformative properties. That’s the message from an art project by artist Sigalit Landau, who submerged a traditional 1920s-style Hasidic black dress into Israel’s hyper-saline lake in 2014 and kept it suspended in place using a synthetic net. As she took photos of the dress over the course of two months, the old-fashioned garment slowly became encrusted in salt crystals — until the entire dress was fully encased in a thick, salty, sparkling coating.
“…It looks like snow, like sugar, like death’s embrace; solid tears, like a white surrender to fire and water combined,” Landau explained to London’s Marlborough Contemporary, where the photographic exhibition — entitled “Salt Bride” — is on display through September 3. People around the world are mesmerized by the surreal transformation of black to white, fluid fabric to solid salt.
Here’s the dress in its early stages of crystallization, suspended eerily in the murky emerald waters:
And here’s the final, fully-transformed dress being lifted out of the water: