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Kasher Kasher Kasher

video art 8 minutes

The practice of Mikveh (ritual bath) is a private, even secret, side of married life for observant Jewish women, marking the turning point in the monthly cycle between being Nidah, and as such forbidden to her husband, and being spiritually clean again, and consequently available for sexual relations once more.In my video I show a woman getting ready to use the Mikveh by peeling off the layers of her outside self: her wig, jewellery, make-up, clothes; removing nail varnish, washing her whole body and hair, and brushing her teeth so that she ends up completely scrubbed from head to toe, without any embellishments whatsoever. It is in this state of physical purity that she must immerse herself three times in the waters of the Ritual Bath under the supervision of a qualified attendant, recite the Blessing, and when she emerges she is then spiritually clean too and deemed fit to renew intimate relationships with her husband after her monthly period.

Following this small, intensely personal and intimate ceremony between the Mikveh lady and the woman using the Mikveh, the woman puts back all the layers which she had removed: creams and make-up, clothes and jewellery and appears exactly the same afterwards as she had at the beginning.

My video asks: What has transpired? What change has occurred?