From the artist Professor Leslie Starobin
The Dead Sea: Mirror of Time
Original Color Prints are 15” x 15” and 19” x 19”
All images copyright Leslie Starobin
In the late 1980s I began photographing at the Dead Sea and in the Judean Desert. In 1993, I spent a sabbatical semester photographing infirm bathers in this salty sea and recording the surrounding terrain—parched, war-torn and environmentally endangered. During the next two decades, as funding permitted, I returned to the Dead Sea region on numerous occasions to work on this series, The Dead Sea: Mirror of Time. In 1997, the B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum in Washington, D.C. exhibited my artwork from this series in a two-person exhibit entitled “Landscapes In Time and Space: Photography and Photo-Montages by Leslie Starobin. Paintings by Burt Hasen.” One of my photographs, Bomb’s Eye View from the Lyddo Bathhouse, was featured on the cover of the museum catalogue.
In Bomb’s Eye View from the Lyddo Bathhouse, the viewer witnesses the after-math of the region’s conflicts, during the wars of ’48, ’67, and ’73. In the center of the architectural structure there is a perfect porthole to a blue sky. In the distance stand the abandoned buildings of a pre-1948 Arab-Jewish enterprise to mine the Dead Sea. Framing this circular opening is a contemporary Israeli artist’s mural duplicating a famous Crusader’s map to the Holy Land. The thin blue line, which runs horizontally across the painting, represents the Jordan River. This stream once emptied directly into the sea behind the Lyddo Bathhouse. Painted after the bathhouse fell into Israeli hands. In ’67, the wall map was punctured by a Jordanian bomb during the ’73 war.
The full series, The Dead Sea: Mirror of Time, may be viewed here.