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Israeli Artist Showing at State Solyanka Gallery

A pair of shoes Landau dipped in the Black Sea then left on a frozen lake. Sigalit Landau

A retrospective exhibition of Israeli-born video artist Sigalit Landau opens at the State Solyanka Gallery on Friday as part of the Solyanka VPA project, which is supported by the Israeli Embassy.

The exhibition will take visitors on a journey through the last 14 years of Landau's career, which has focused on the basic elements of earth, water and salt as symbols of motherland, life and the wisdom of ancient peoples.

Her native Israel features prominently in her work, and the country's landscape is often explored through short clips. The Dead Sea, separating Israel, Jordan and the territories of the Palestinian authorities, is of particular interest to Landau.

In a more recent piece, "Salted Lake," Landau sculpted a pair of shoes using her unique process of immersing objects into the Dead Sea. She then places the shoes onto a frozen lake in Gdansk, Poland, causing the salt to react with the ice.

"Each shoe melted a big hole in the ice. At night, they finally fell and drowned in the sweet waters of the lake," Landau explained in a book for her last exhibit.

A video featured in the retrospective exhibition shows the artist as she tries to balance herself on a watermelon while floating in the saline waters of the Dead Sea. Another shows a bird's eye view of the artist floating among a spiraling chain of 500 watermelons, connected by a 250-meter-long cord, which slowly unravels.

"I am reaching out against the direction of the turning raft toward a small area where the fruit is wounded, red and exposed, like me, to the sting of the salt," Landau said.

"Sigalit Landau: Endless Games" runs June 8 to July 1 at Solyanka Gallery, 1/2 Ulitsa Solyanka. Metro Kitai-Gorod. Tel. 621-5672,

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