Back in 2014, Israeli artist Sigalit Landau submerged a traditional black Victorian gown from the XIX century into the Dead Sea, a hypersaline lake among the saltiest in the world, located between Jordan, Palestine and Israel. It was the beginning of the ‘Salt Bride’ project which lasted for two years and in which she photographed the dress at various stages.
The fascinating project was inspired by a 1916 play called Dybbuk, or Between Two Worlds, by Belarussian Jewish playwright S. Ansky. The play depicts a young Hasidic woman, who becomes haunted by the spirit of her dead lover, before she is exorcised. The dress is a remake of the one worn in the histrionic production of the 1920s.
“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,” Colossal writes.
After being immersed in the salt-rich waters of the Dead Sea for two years, the gown was brought up to the surface to go on display.