This Wedding Dress Was in the Dead Sea for 2 Years

This Wedding Dress Was in the Dead Sea for 2 Years

Interesting art pieces have a way of captivating us, and cause us to ponder things in a deeper way. This wedding dress was in the Dead Sea for 2 years, and became a work of art all on its own. Artist Sigalit Landau, born in Jerusalem, Israel, in 1969, is the mastermind behind this beautiful work of art, that fuses an iconic dress from a play called The Dybbuk written by S. Ansky. The 1916 play was based on a woman who was marrying a man from a affluent family, who became possessed by her deceased lover. The writer of the play never got to see the play performed, but it became one of the most popular of it's time in Jewish culture. Ansky had the idea for writing the play as he was leading a tour through small towns in Eastern Europe that explored Jewish folklore. On his travels he noticed there were exorcisms in the Hasidim culture that would rid a person of possession of a soul that had taken it over. These restless souls were called dybbuk, and became the inspiration for his play. The play explored spiritual possession of a woman who was set to marry a poor, spiritual and mystical man, but her father was in opposition to the marriage, so he broke it off, and forced her into marrying a wealthier man. Once the poor man learned that his love would be married off to another man, he died instantly, but came back to live on through his love.

Sigalit Landau, was enthralled with the Yiddish play, and the movie that came to follow, so she was inspired to create an art piece that would encapsulate the spirit of the play and the essence of some Jewish culture. The dress she used was designed to be a close resemblance to the dress featured in the play and in the movie, but the dress alone was not the art piece, the artist had something more intricate in mind. Sigalit, who loves using salt in her art pieces, decided on integrating it into the dress. So, she thought of the idea to dip the dress into the Dead Sea, which is extremely high in it's salt content, and see what would happen. Of course, she expected the salt crystals to build up on the surface of the dress fabric, but after two years of being submerged in the salty sea, it took on life of it's own. The once black dress became engulfed with salt crystals, as the sea created a piece of art all on it's own. They even had to rig up a crane to pull the dress out from the sea after the two years it had been underwater, because it was so heavy from all of the salt.

Sigalit has a personal connection to the Dead Sea, as she grew up overlooking it. She finds that there is a unique magic in the sea, and she has used it in many other art projects she has done, and each have shown her an new aspect of the same sea, and she says she finds that it's like visiting a new planet, and that there are endless experiments she wants to do there. Her art exhibit consists of mysteriously eerie underwater photos of the progress of the salt collecting on the dress and of the salt dress itself. It goes hand in hand with exploring the two worlds of spirit and physical reality, while exploring cultural impositions that seem to crystallize over time, almost freezing people. Which can be seen as beautiful, but quite restricting. What does the interesting art piece symbolize to you?***

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