Sigalit Landau is a leading force in the Israeli art scene. For the past twenty years, the sculptor and video and installation artist has developed a pioneering art practice centered around the Dead Sea – a mythical, ecological, and historically charged landscape that has had a profound influence on the artist since childhood. Her exploration and innovative practices have turned the Dead Sea into a medium and a workshop, playing off its singular properties and its water’s ability to transform objects.⁣

A new exhibition at the Israel Museum, Sigalit Landau: The Burning Sea, illuminates this prolific period in the artist’s career, spanning a fascinating range of sculptures, installations, video works, and photographs, including the premiere of new works and sculptures from the artist’s acclaimed series of objects transformed by the Dead Sea’s salt-rich waters.⁣

The first part of the exhibition gives the impression of being underwater in a dramatic and mysterious space featuring objects Landau resurrected from the sea. Fishing nets, barbed-wire constructions, a ballet tutu, and other items underwent a process of crystallization in the salty waters of the Dead Sea, which turned them into salt-encrusted, otherworldly works of art. The second part of the exhibition turns visitors’ attention to the ecological issues and political divides surrounding the Dead Sea environment, as well as humanity’s potential to rise above them. It includes works connected to the idea of a bridge from the Israeli to the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea, a proposal Landau has been working on for more than a decade. After following Landau into the depths of the salt water and experiencing both the magnificence and the devastation of the Dead Sea, the exhibition closes on an optimistic note, with the hope that we can build a bridge over burning waters.⁣