Desert X, the biennial large-scale art installation seen across the Coachella Valley in 2017 and 2019, will head to Saudi Arabia in 2020, before likely returning to the Greater Palm Springs area in 2021.
Desert X AlUla has been announced for the desert of AlUla in northwest Saudi Arabia. The exhibition will open January 31–March 7, 2020, coinciding with AlUla’s annual festival Winter at Tantora.
Desert X AlUla is the first international collaboration for Desert X, which was founded to connect desert communities and cultures through contemporary art. Co-curated by Desert X Artistic Director Neville Wakefield and Saudi curators and contemporary art specialists, Raneem Farsi and Aya Alireza, the exhibition will bring together artists from Saudi Arabia, the neighboring regions, and the world. The exhibition will feature large-scale installations, including site-specific works and commissions.
AlUla is an ancient oasis in a desert valley, a region that was once a historic crossroads between three continents, and a gateway from Arabia to the East and West. Built from successive civilisations and peoples including the ancient North Arabian Kingdoms of Dadan and Lihyan, and the Nabataeans, the landscape combines works of nature and humankind, expressing a long and symbiotic relationship between people and their environment.
“We are thrilled to be collaborating with Desert X, an organisation which shares our hope and vision for international exchange through art. This is the first temporary exhibition of site-specific works to take place in the magnificent region of AlUla, and the diverse voices of the participating artists will advance a vital and inclusive exchange about social, environmental, historic, geographic and philosophical ideas and issues,” said Culture Minister and RCU Gov. Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammad bin Farhan Al-Saud. “Desert X AlUla is part of our expanding cultural vision for AlUla and will invite local, regional and international visitors to experience engaging international art, and to preserve our global heritage for future generations.”
The full list of participating artists will be announced in the coming weeks.
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