Sigalit Landau (b.1969, Israel)

Sigalit Landau was born and raised in Jerusalem and spent several years in the US and the UK. In 1993, she spent a year as an exchange student at Cooper Union School of Art and Design in New York. In 1994, she graduated from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. Today she lives and works in Tel-Aviv.

In 1994, Landau took part in two group exhibitions as part of Art Focus 1994. One of the exhibitions, titled Transit, was an art project that offered artists an exhibition space in the shopping area of the new Central Bus Station in Tel-Aviv. Landau chose to inhabit a hideaway space occupied by homeless people, which she found in the compound, where she created an installation that consisted of a series of doors scratched and punctured by metal fingernails.

By the end of the 1990s, Landau began to create video art works, which allowed for a wider distribution of her powerful and iconic output. One such key work is Barbed Hula (2000), showing a nude female body (the artist’s) rolling on and around her belly a hula hoop made of barbedwire, which injures the delicate female skin with every move. The visual experience combines hypnotic beauty with a sense of excruciating pain, making it difficult to watch. In this work, as in some of her other videos, the themeof circular and cyclical motion is central. Landau integrates her experience in the medium of movement in space – she studied dance at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance’s high school – with a deep understanding of the video-art form, which is based on continued movement and the projection cycle (loop).

In her Dead Sea video artwork (2005), the artist is featured among hundreds of watermelons joined to each other by a string in the form of a spiral raftfloating on the Dead Sea. Some of the watermelons are open, with their wound-like red flesh accentuated by the green background. In a slow and hypnotizing motion, the string is pulled and the spiral is unraveled, allowing time for contemplation and reflection. The Dead Sea, both the place and the symbol, which had featured in her work before, plays a new role in a future project that Landau is currently initiating, building a bridge made out of salt between the Israeli and the Jordanian sides. “My work is bridge-building,” she wrote in the Venice Biennale’s catalog. “In my [sub]consciousness I search for new and vitalmaterials for connecting the past with the future, the East with the West, and private with the collective … using scattered and broken words in order todefine a pile of meaningless objects and transform it into a soft heap of dreambuds, to influence the uncertain horizon.”

Landau, Sigalit b.1969

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