Desert X 2021 – The Wishing Well

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Desert X was conceived with a mission to create and present international contemporary art exhibitions that engage with desert environments through site-specific installations by acclaimed artists from around the world. It is held biennially in the Coachella Valley in Southern California. This year, with a global pandemic and racial and political protests as backdrops, the 2021 edition offers an exhibition of 12 artists exploring the desert as both a place and idea, recognizing the realities of people who reside there and the political, social, and cultural contexts that shape their stories. I was able to visit these recently and wanted to share some images and details here. Desert X runs through May 16 and more information can be found on their website:

“The Wishing Well” is a sculptural installation of large-scale cubes draped with sheets of woven pieces of yellow plastic Kufuor gallons used to transport water in Ghana. Artist Serge Attukwei Clottey, born in Accra, Ghana, likes to investigate the sociopolitical, economic, environmental, and cultural legacies of the colonial past of Africa. Using the yellow plastic jerrycans, which were introduced by Europeans to the people of Ghana to transport cooking oil, he creates sculptures, installations, and performances that speak to histories of colonial pillaging and its effects on trade and migration.


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