Project for a Rift Valley Crossing / Blade Submerged, 2016

Mixed Media

Dead Sea water, paddle, framed watertight Perspex box

59.84 x 8.66 x 2.76 in

152.0 x 22.0 x 7.0 cm

Edition of 5

This work comes with a certificate of authenticity. Signed and numbered by the artist.

About The Work

This new limited edition work by Simon Starling has been created by the artist for Nottingham Contemporary to accompany his recent solo exhibition. Available in an edition of 5, Project for a Rift Valley Crossing/ Blade Submerged relates to a new commission included in his recent solo exhibition.

Project for a Rift Valley Crossing. A canoe built to cross the Dead Sea Rift between Israel and Jordan using 90 kg of magnesium produced from 1900 litres of Dead Sea water 2015-16 Canoe cast in Dead Sea magnesium, Dead Sea water, tanks Courtesy of the artist and The Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd, Glasgow.   

The starting point for Project for a Rift Valley Crossing was the story of a British aeronautical engineer, Frank Kirk, who in the 1980s built lightweight bicycle frames from magnesium produced from seawater. The logical next step in the chain of thought triggered by this tale of ingenuity was to build a boat from seawater, and to use it to cross the sea from which it was made. The much mythologised and fast-disappearing Dead Sea is identified as the body of water with the highest concentration of magnesium chloride, one of the most abundant salts found in its waters.  

Located in the Rift Valley between Jordan, Israel and the Israeli occupied West Bank, this body of highly saline water - the lowest place on Earth, at 427 m below sea level - has long been exploited for its mineral riches. It contains approximately 45 grams of magnesium in every litre of water. As well as being a source of magnesium, the Dead Sea is a highly complex and contested site within the politics of the Middle East. As a result, the initially pragmatic reason for choosing it as a site for the project brings with it a complex cocktail of negotiation and diplomacy. Navigating its troubled waters is a difficult proposition that can only be undertaken with the cooperation of the relevant authorities.

Courtesy of Nottingham Contemporary

About Simon Starling

From The Magazine

  • This work is made to order which can take 2 - 3 months to fulfill in total.

  • This work hangs on the wall using a split baton. It come sin a custom made, watertight Perspex framed box.

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