Desert X – 2nd Palm Springs art biennale

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For the second time ever, Desert X launched into a 10-week open-air contemporary art exhibition in Palm Springs, California. After the inaugural exhibition in 2017 and the overwhelming response – there were more than 200,000 visitors on site and millions were talking about it on social media – the organizers of the installation event in Coachella Valley upped the game and planned an even bigger and more impressive art event.

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Artistic director Neville Wakefield and co-curator Amanda Hunt of MOCA Los Angeles and independent curator Matthew Schum put together a fantastic program revolving around the ‘Climate Change Crisis’.

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The free exhibition of 19 site-specific art installations and various performances is open to the public. The unique setting of the Coachella Valley was not enough anymore, and the organizers expanded Desert X to the Salton Sea and further across the border into Mexico.

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From February 9 to April 21, 2019, Desert X activates the California desert landscape with thought-provoking site-specific works, life performances, film projects, debates, and presentations. The community was this year even more involved than the first time and the Desert X Symposium ‘Desert, why?’ is taking place from March 1-3, 2019, at the Palm Springs Art Museum.

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The national and international audience interested in contemporary art, culture, urban living, sustainability, and environment will find Desert X an engaging event that will spark conversations about burning and pressing issues.

One of the invited artists, Jenny Holzer will unfortunately not be able to present her installation of ‘Before I became afraid, 2019’. The LED-light projection of poetry text excerpts and testimonials related to gun violence had to be canceled due to the failing health of the bighorn sheep on the nearby mountains. Everyone involved was concerned that the sheep’s health would further deteriorate with the light projection and people walking around in their habitat.

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Wakefield mentioned that the art installations were created specifically for Desert X. The artists ‘started with a place’. They came to visit the Coachella Valley and experienced the physical and social extremes. These conditions led to the inspirations for their installations.

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Presenting contemporary artists are: Iván Argote, Steve Badgett & Chris Taylor, Nancy Baker Cahill, Cecilia Bengolea, Pia Camil, John Gerrard, Julian Hoeber, Jenny Holzer, Iman Issa, Mary Kelly, Armando Lerma, Eric N. Mack, Cinthia Marcelle, Postcommodity, Cara Romero, Sterling Ruby, Kathleen Ryan, Gary Simmons and Superflex.

More design- and art-focused news from California: KEC LAX, LA Art Show 2019, San Francisco Decorator House,

Source: Photos are courtesy of Desert X.

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