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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: https://desertx.org/.
Mexico-based Eduardo Sarabia’s “The Passenger” is an arrow tip-shaped maze inspired by the trope of the journey that for generations has been closely bound to stories of the desert. From biblical narratives of exodus to the treks of immigrants searching for better tomorrows, the necessity to move from one place to another has formed a shared experience across cultures. Made from walls of petates, traditional rugs woven from palm fibers, “The Passenger” addresses the challenges and aspirations that encourage journeys, while paying tribute to the people who have embarked upon them.
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