Desert X Art Exhibition To Open In March, Feature 11 International Artists

Kamari Esquerra

The biennial outdoor art exhibition, Desert X, will return this spring with new installations but the same message. 

“The exhibition and a lot of the artists have come in in order to add onto this conversation, but there are overarching themes coming up, said Jenny Gil, Executive Director of Desert X. “Some of them being linked directly to climate change, some of them being linked to the memory of water, or the history of water here in the Coachella Valley.”

Desert X will continue its focus on social and environmental themes featured in previous editions with art by 11 international artists from Europe, North America, and South Asia.

“Nine of them are going to be sculptural projects. One of them is a film commission and one will be a performance,” said Gil. 

This year, Desert X is working with co-curator Diana Campbell, a California native, based in Brussels and working in South Asia, to curate the exhibition.  

“One of the things that she was really interested in was really telling the story of these two opposites that are actually really interrelated,” said Gil. “The effects of extreme climate change both in Bangladesh and in the desert here in Southern California. Whereas in Bangladesh, climate change is visible mostly in flooding and an excess of water, and we’re seeing the other side of the same coin here in the Coachella Valley with the increase of desertification in our landscape.”

The artists will create exhibitions from one end of the valley to the other. Their work will showcase a variety of exhibits and various mediums including poetry, architecture, design, music, education, and environmental activism.

“We work throughout the year with our artists and our teams to find the correct locations to present each of the projects and develop the relationships with the different communities that are nearby those projects,” said Gil. “Really help develop those conversations and create those links between artists not only in California, but artists that are coming from other sides of the world and contribute to the conversations here.”

Desert X will open March 4 and will run through May 7. The installations will be free and open from sunrise to sunset, unless otherwise noted. Visitors will be able to get maps and information at a “hub” at Ace Hotel and Swim Club upon opening.

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