Sigalit Landau discusses her salt sculptures and video installations in the context of Between Worlds, her recent solo exhibition at the Jewish Museum in Amsterdam:
Sigalit Landau, born in Jerusalem in 1969, is an interdisciplinary artist who works with installation, video, painting, photography, and sculpture. Between 1990 and 1995, she studied Art at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. During this time she also attended Cooper Union in New York City. She currently lives and works in Israel.
Landau’s complex works touch on social, historical, political, and ecological issues, embracing topics such as homelessness, banishment, the relationships between victim and victimizer, and between decay and growth. As much of her work is concerned with the human condition, the body (often her own) is a key motif and guide.
In 1994, Landau’s work was included in two ArtFocus 1 exhibitions. This early work dealt with notions of nomadism and place. In one, she inhabited a homeless shelter; in the other, she created a castaway group show on the water breakers in front of Bugrashov beach.
In 1995 she showed her work Iron Door Tent with Guy Bar Amoz at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
In 1996 Landau exhibit at the “Witte de With”. Following her Rotterdam experience, Landau made and showed Resident Alien I the following year in the Herzliya Museum, and after that in Documenta X and at the 47th Venice Biennale in 1997. Landau would represent Israel a second time at the Biennale in 2011.
In 1999 Landau exhibited her work in the Chisenhale Gallery, London, and then at Spacex in Exeter. The following year, she won the first Times/ArtAngel open commission: to transform a concrete mixer into a music box. She states that she had every intention of “living in it forever and travelling with the story performed with it in the streets…”.
In her 2001 New York City Exhibition, Sigalit turned the Thread Waxing space into a cotton candy crater, spinning the sweet fibres around herself and the audience, to the music of “Arab-Snow”.
Returning to Israel during the outburst of the Second Intifada, she worked with front pages of the Haaretz newspaper, transforming them each day into sculptures of fruit that would become the principal material for her installation The Country (2002) at the Alon Segev Gallery in Tel Aviv-Yafo.
In 2004 she opened The Endless Solution at the Tel Aviv Museum.
In The Dining Hall (2007) at Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, she made a chain of installations dealing with private, communal, and public food, feeding and starving. Culminating in a monumental public sculpture of bloody doner kebabs dedicated to the Turkish kebab carvers in the streets of Germany.
In 2008 she exhibited Project 87 at MOMA.
In 2008 her work Salt sails + Sugar knots was shown at Kamel Mennour, Paris.
In 2012 she showed her work Caryatid at The Negev Museum of Art, Beersheva, Israel.
In 2015, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona featured a semi-retrospective of her work.
In 2019 she showed her work Salt Years at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg. Salt Years is perhaps Landau’s best-known work; it consists of salt sculptures created by immersing metal armatures into the Dead Sea.
Among many other recognitions, Landau was conferred the title of Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government, an Honorary Associate degree from the Open University of Israel (2019), and an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem (2020).
AWARDS & scholarships
2019 Honorary Doctorate degree from The Open University of Israel
2017 Honorary Doctorate degree from the Ben Gurion University of the Negev
2017 Chevalier, Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France
2016 The Sandberg Prize for Israeli Art, Israel Museum, Jerusalem
2015 Terra Summer Residency advisor, Giverny, France
2011 Artis Grant Recipient
2007 Dan Sandel and the Sandel Family Foundation for Sculpture Award, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv
2004 The Beatrice S. Kolliner Award for Young Israeli Artists, Israel Museum, Jerusalem
2004 The Nathan Gottesdiener Foundation Israeli Art Award, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv
2003 The America-Israel Cultural Foundation Jannette and George Jaffin Scholarship
2003 ‘IASPIS’ Residency, Stockholm
2001 Acquisition Prize, Tel Aviv Museum, Tel Aviv
2001 Young Artist Award, Ministry of Science, Culture and Education
2000 Winner of the ArtAngel/Times commissions 2000 competition, London
1999 Artist-in-residence at the Hoffmann Collection, Berlin
1998 The Ingeborg Bachman Scholarship, established by Anselm Kiefer, Wolf Foundation
1994 America-Israel Cultural Foundation Scholarship; Mary Fisher Award, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem
1993 Sculpture Award, The Jewish National Fund (USA)
selected solo EXHIBITIONS
2022 The Burning Sea, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
2021 Between Worlds, The Jewish Museum, Amsterdam
2021 Salt of the Earth and the Bride of the Sea, Givat Haviva Art Gallery. Curator: Anat Lidror
2020 Green Scream, Natan Zach, Gallery Har-El, Tel Aviv
2019 Salt Years, The Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Austria
2019 Sigalit Landau: Sea Stains, Dwek Gallery, Mishkenot Sha’ananim, Jerusalem
2019 Growth & Change, Roe Green Gallery, Jewish Federation of Cleveland, Ohio
2019 Lot’s Wife, Alon Segev Gallery, Tel Aviv-Jaffa
2016 Miqlat, Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme, Paris
2016 Salt Bride, Marlborough Contemporary, London
2016 Sorrow Grove, Wiener Festwochen, Vienna
2015 Sigalit Landau, Hezi Cohen Gallery, Tel-Aviv
2015 Better Place, cellule516, Marseille
2015 Snow in Jerusalem, Olga Korper Gallery, Toronto
2015 Shelter, 2012, Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montreal
2014 Phoenician Sand Dance, MACBA, Barcelona
2014 Knafeh, Marlborough Contemporary, London
2014 Moving To Stand Still, Koffler Centre of Fine Arts, Toronto
2013 The Ram in the Thicket, Maison Hermes in Ginza, Tokyo
2013 Margin, Mucsarnok, Kunsthalle Budapest
2013 Olives, Tromso Kunstforening, Tromso
2012 Caryatid, The Negev Museum of Art, Beersheba
2012 Infinite Games, Solyanaka Gallery, Moscow
2012 Soil Nursing, Kamel Mennour Gallery, Paris
2012 Angel Laundry, Givon Art Gallery, Tel-Aviv
2012 One man’s floor is another man’s feelings, SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah
2011 One man’s floor is another man’s feelings, Israeli Pavilion, 54th Biennale, Venice
2008 Salt sails + Suger knots, Kamel Mennour Gallery, Paris
2008 Projects 87, MoMA – The Museum of Modern Art, New York City
2008 Salame/ Herzel: Views from Tel-Aviv South, Tel Aviv
2007 The Dining Hall, Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin
2006 Sherman Galleries, Sydney
2005 Carcel de Amor, Relatos culturales sobre la violencia de genero, Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid
2005 Treading Water, Ballroom Marfa, Marfa
2005 The Endless Solution, Helena Rubinstein Pavilion for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv
2005 Bauchhaus 04, (performance), The Armory Show, New York City
2002 The Country, Alon Segev Gallery, Tel Aviv
2002 Video and zoetrope installation, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham
2001 Thread Waxing Space (installation), New York City
2000 Somnambulin-Station 1, (sonic performance piece), Spacex Gallery, Exeter
1999 The Natives are Restless, New Work UK, Chisenhale Gallery, London
1997 Resident Alien II, The Israeli pavilion to the Venice Art Biennial
1997 Resident Alien I, Documenta X, Kassel
1996 VoorWerk 5, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam
1995 Temple Mount, Israel Museum, Jerusalem
WORKS IN PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Julia Stoschek collection, Düsseldorf
Museum der Moderne Salzburg
Kunstmuseum Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen, Magdeburg
George Pompidou Center, Paris
The Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv
The Jewish Museum, New York City
The Brooklyn Museum, New York City
Magazine 3, Stockholm
Museo De Arte Contemporàneo De Castilla Y Len Musak, Leòn
Museos Archivos y Bibliotecas, City of Madrid
MoMA, Museum of Modern Art, New York City
MACBA, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona
MOCAK, Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow
2018 Nava Sevilla-Sadeh, ”Les rites de passage: Ritual, Initiation and the State in Works by Sigalit Landau and Anisa Ashkar”, Visual Resources
2015 Nava Sevilla-Sadeh, “The Arena of Thanatos: Psuché, Soma and Sigalit Landau’s Body Representation – a Comparative Study”, Journal of Aesthetics & Culture
2008 Leslie Camhi, “Centrifugal Force: Unraveling the art of Sigalit Landau”, Tablet Magazine, June
2001 Roberta Smith, “Sigalit Landau”, New York Times, June 1
2003 Phillip Leider, “Report from Tel Aviv; Israel’s Guernica”, Art in America, May
2001 Charles LaBelle, “Sigalit Landau”, Frieze, October
1999 Richard Cork, “Anatomy of a Winner”, The London Times, May 7
1996 Rotterdam Witte de With, October
1996 Jean-Fran Çois Chevrier, “Sigalit Landau”, Center for Contemporary Art
2020 Sigalit Landau Green Scream, Har-El Printers & Publishers, Jaffa
2019 Sigalit Landau Salt Years, Hatje Cantz
2015 Phoenician Sand Dance, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona
2012 aryatid, The Negev Museum of Art
2011 Sigalit Landau – One man’s floor is another man’s feelings, Éditions Kamel Mennour, Paris
2011 100 Years of Israeli Art, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
2010 Signs of Life, Kunstmuseum Luzern
2008 Sigalit Landau, Hatje Cantz
2008 Eventually We’ll Die: Young Art in Israel of the ’90s, Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art
2007 Going Staying: Movement, Body, Space in Contemporary Art, Hatje Cantz
2005 Dreaming Art Dreaming Reality, Nathan Gottesdiener Foundation, Tel Aviv Museum of Art
2004 The Endless Solution, Tel Aviv Museum of Art
2002 The Country, D.K. GraubArt & Spartizan
1997 Friction: I-body, I-language, I+you, The Venice Biennale /The Ministry of Education