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Known for a performative art practice that explores the landscapes of Israel, Sigalit Landau works in video, installation, sculpture, and drawing. Her elegant video, DeadSee, embeds the artist’s nude body within a spiral of 500 floating watermelons, gradually unfurling in the buoyant waters of the Dead Sea. The piece reinscribes the representational tradition of “still life” with unexpected layers of reference and movement. Landau uses forms and sites that link the ancient and contemporary worlds; the spiral, the body, and the watermelon—with their allusions to antiquity—float in waters cited in the Bible and that today create common border among Israel, Jordan, and the West Bank. With the green skins and hot red interiors of the melon, the pale figure curled in their midst, and the brilliant cyan surface, Landau composes a refined study in formal contrasts. Yet she also creates an image of interdependence: both fruit and flesh are largely comprised of water, dynamic and organic, yet vulnerable in the harsh salinity of the sea.
Curated by Lisa Fischman, Ruth Gordon Shapiro ’37 Director, with generous support from Wellesley College Friends of Art at the Davis.