Eric N. Mack is among 18 leading artists who created monolithic outdoor installations for this year’s Desert X biennial art festival. For his contribution, Mack built a sprawling woven knit artwork that was installed across a dilapidated gas station in the Coachella Valley.
The installation was found “vandalized, burned, and stolen” from its site this Wednesday, according to an announcement made by the artist on Instagram.
I am overwhelmed by the news that my work ‘Halter’ was vandalised, burned and stolen from its Desert X site yesterday. As I process the loss of this artwork that I and many others worked tirelessly to realise, I am only pacified by knowing that many visitors experienced and appreciated it as it was. While the violence and hate enacted on this installation is astounding, I will not allow for this disregard to become a gesture that obstructs nor defines this work of art.
Local newspaper DesertSun reported that sheriffs in the region are describing the installation’s disappearance as an act of vandalism. Burn marks were observed on portions of fabric that were left from the installation site, belonging to the artwork. Moreover, ropes that were used to help mount the textiles were scorched.
Mack has no plans to install a new piece at the gas station. Police are still investigating the case.