After two successful years in the Coachella Valley, contemporary art exhibition Desert X has moved to the AlUla desert in Saudi Arabia for its third installment. Each site-specific installation reflects on the area’s history, invites cross-cultural dialogue and introduces the work of international artists to new audiences. Desert X AlUla includes 14 works by Saudi Arabian artist Nasser Al Salem, American artist Sherin Guirguis, Copenhagen studio Superflex and more.
A key piece from the third edition includes Rashed Al Shashai’s A Concise Passage installation. Made from plastic pallets used for the transportation of goods, the pyramidal structure references AlUla’s natural rock formations that were once used as a shelter for travelers and aims to represent the region as a center for exchanging ideas rather than goods. Elsewhere, Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim’s brightly colored rock-like forms reveal the fragility of the desert ecosystem, while Manal Al Dowayan creates artificial puddles using trampolines.
“Site-specific exhibitions such as Desert X take their cues from land art of the late ’60s and early ’70s when artists consciously gravitated towards the remote as a means of breaking down the walls – physical, experiential and economic – of the institutions to which they felt bound…” Neville Wakefield, co-curator of Desert X AlUla explains. “Our hope is that in helping bring a site-specific contemporary art exhibition to the desert of AlUla, there will be new conversations, new cultural dialogue between individuals and communities.”
Take a closer look at select installations in the slideshow above and head to Desert X’s website for more information on the art exhibition. Desert X AlUla will run from now until March 7.
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Desert X AlUla is open to the public until March 7, 2020. Co-curated by Desert X Artistic Director, Neville Wakefield and Saudi curators and contemporary art specialists Raneem Farsi and Aya Alireza, the exhibition is the first of its kind to showcase 14 unique artworks that have been created in response to the outstanding landscape of the AlUla canyons. List of works, from left to right: 1. Lita Albuquerque, NAJMA (She Placed One Thousand Suns On The Transparent Overlays Of Space). 2. Manal AlDowayan, Now You See Me, Now You Don’t. 3. Zahra AlGhamdi, Glimpses of the Past. 4. Nasser AlSalem, Amma Qabel. 5. Rashed AlShashai, A Concise Passage. 6. Gisela Colon, The Future Is Now. 7. Sherin Guirguis, Kholkhal Aliaa. Photos by @lance.gerber @_desertx @winterattantora #desertxalula #winterattantora
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Desert X AlUla opens January 31 – March 7, 2020. An exploration of desert culture, the exhibition is a cross-cultural dialogue between artists from Saudi Arabia and its surrounding region and artists from previous iterations of Desert X in California, taking its cues from the extraordinary landscape and historical significance of AlUla. Participating artists: Lita Albuquerque, Manal AlDowayan, Zahrah AlGhamdi, Nasser AlSalem, Rashed AlShashai, Gisela Colon, Sherin Guirguis, Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim, Nadim Karam, eL Seed, Wael Shawky, Muhannad Shono, Superflex, Rayyane Tabet. @experiencealula @_desertx #DXAlUla#poweroftheX #DiscoverX