On view through May 7, 2023
Desert X 2023, the site-specific, international art exhibition is now on view through May 7, 2023 at sites across the Coachella Valley, California. Twelve diverse artists from Europe, North America and South Asia present poetic and immersive works that span sculpture, painting, photography, writing, architecture, design, film, music, performance and choreography, education, and environmental activism in the exhibition curated by Artistic Director Neville Wakefield and Co-Curator Diana Campbell.
Artists include Rana Begum, Lauren Bon, Gerald Clarke, Paloma Contreras Lomas, Torkwase Dyson, Mario García Torres, Hylozoic/Desires (Himali Singh Soin and David Soin Tappeser), Matt Johnson,Tyre Nichols, Tschabalala Self, Marina Tabassum, and Héctor Zamora.
“There’s a saying attributed to the Kwakwaka’wakw nation that a place is a story happening many times,” says Wakefield. “This idea of place as the multiplicity of stories flowing through it is central to Desert X. Artists are an essential part of this understanding and the ideas they bring to it irrigate our perception of place, nourishing the narratives already there and propagating those that have yet to be told.”
In the exhibition, which builds on social and environmental themes explored in earlier editions, newly-commissioned works make visible, as instruments of self-awareness and devices of wonder, the forces that we exert on the world: how we design our environments, how we live, and the messages we send that reinforce systems that might or might not be beneficial for us. From the local to the global, from schools and roads to global trade routes that define the ebb and flow of goods and many things in-between, infrastructure has subsumed creative ways of being that are inconvenient to forces of power.
“Desert X 2023 can be seen as a collection of artistic interventions that make visible how our energy has a transference far beyond what we see just in front of us in our own localities,” says Campbell. “From deserts to floodplains, finding, building and developing tools and tactics to shelter our minds and bodies from the harshness of the world outside are essential to survival. In a time of global crisis, many of the artists have created spaces of freedom and possibility, suggesting new ways to build healing cultures of care that embrace and protect (bio) diversity, opening up opportunities for joy and hope anchored in justice. Immersing ourselves in the stories of place also awakens us to its mythologies, whether they be religious texts or oral traditions across multitudes of belief systems that see us creating vessels to escape the flood as well as being cast into the arid wilderness to test the limits of existential and spiritual survival.”
For information visit desertx.org and download the Desert X app.