Embroidered Series - the Dead Sea By Leor Grady

Embroidered Series - the Dead Sea By Leor Grady

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The Dead Sea is a national symbol of Israel and of Zionism, and evokes many aspects of Israel’s complex history: the deep roots Jews have in this region, as well as the exploitation of the sea by Israel: the contour of the sea is constantly shrinking due to the ongoing extraction of chemicals by Israeli factories. The Dead Sea is also a staple of Israeli tourism, as people from around the world come to visit the reputedly “lowest place in the world.” Currently acting as the defining border between Israel and Jordan, in this work the Dead Sea is stripped of political borders, its symbolic contour hovering in abstract space and reflected on what would otherwise be the other side of the border.
Materials: Silver thread on paper
Dimensions: 12.5in/16.5in

The Dead Sea is a national symbol of Israel and of Zionism, and evokes many aspects of Israel’s complex history: the deep roots Jews have in this region, as well as the exploitation of the sea by Israel: the contour of the sea is constantly shrinking due to the ongoing extraction of chemicals by Israeli factories. The Dead Sea is also a staple of Israeli tourism, as people from around the world come to visit the reputedly “lowest place in the world.”

Currently acting as the defining border between Israel and Jordan, in this work the Dead Sea is stripped of political borders, its symbolic contour hovering in abstract space, with its imagined reflection appearing, like a desert mirage on the Jordanian side of the border. Together, the sea and its imaginary reflection give the appearance of two hands gently holding something precious between them. The work is part of a series of works by Grady portraying bodies of water, extracted from new and old maps of the Middle East.

The convergence of the artist’s razor-sharp minimalism with the traditionally Mizrahi art of embroidery takes apart the conventional distinctions between binary categories: modern and traditional, Jewish and Arab, secular and religious, craft and art. Ancient traditional craft is reframed in the context of modern artistic discourse.

Leor Grady

Leor Grady is an Israeli-born visual artist, living and working in Tel Aviv. Working in a wide range of media—from sculpture, video, and drawing to traditional materials and techniques such as gold, embroidery, and even olive oil—Grady subversively repositions everyday objects, concepts and experiences, imbuing them with poetic meaning. His works explore themes of home and identity politics, intertwining text, language, and tradition while addressing his traditional Yemeni heritage roots from within the context of contemporary artistic discourse.
Read more about Leor here.