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Dead Sea sculptures by an Israeli artist

#Dead #Sea #sculptures #Israeli #artist

Israeli artist Sigalit Landau wades into the warm, salty waters of the Dead Sea to inspect her latest creations – everyday objects coated in salt crystals that glitter in the bright morning sun.

The lowest point on earth is also Landau’s studio, in which she immerses objects – from a ballet dress to the wire frame of a lampshade – for weeks, until they are magically transformed by ice-like layers of salt.

“These waters are like a laboratory,” Landau said, gazing at a salt-encrusted coil of barbed wire whose sharp points are now encrusted and rounded thanks to the mineral-rich waters heated by the scorching desert sun.

“What you see,” she said in wonder, “are the spikes, which are very menacing and sharp – and how they’re actually quite coated and sort of sealed, snowy, flaky looking.”

The Dead Sea, a popular tourist spot flanked by dramatic mountain cliffs, always offers surprises when it changes objects, Landau said. “You get very humbled. What the sea wants, I will get.”

Landau works by hanging the objects on frames in the salt lake. Later, she carefully frees the brittle artifacts with the help of several helpers.

Some items are so heavy because of the salt on them that four people have to carry them.

Landau, whose fascination with the Dead Sea began decades ago with video art, says she witnessed the “man-made catastrophe” that now threatens the lake, which is straddled by Israel and the occupied West Bank on one side and Jordan on the other is limited.

Israel and Jordan have long diverted the Jordan River waters that feed the lake, while exploiting its minerals.

The water level has dropped by about a meter a year for the last few decades, and the Dead Sea has lost a third of its surface area since 1960.

Landau fears it will go away unless government policy changes. “It goes away and it shouldn’t,” she said. “It’s important enough and beautiful and a miracle.”

Dozens of Landau’s Dead Sea sculptures, as well as old and new video art installations, will be on display at the Israel Museum in October.

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#Dead #Sea #sculptures #Israeli #artist

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