Mary Kelly, Sterling Ruby, and 17 Other Artists Will Bring Their Star Power to the Coachella Valley for the Second Edition of Desert X
The free exhibition takes place all over the landscape, and will highlight issues such as the impending crisis of climate change.
Desert X is ramping up preparations for its sophomore edition, set to open February 9. The completely free and publicly accessible art event runs through April 21 across California’s picturesque Coachella Valley.
The biennial is once again led by artistic director Neville Wakefield along with co-curators Amanda Hunt and Matthew Schum, who commissioned an impressive roster of 19 international artists to create site-specific works for the event.
In addition to the individual works (whose locations will be revealed closer to the opening) programming includes live performances, film projects, and a lecture series in and around the Valley, all of which are geared toward enhancing our understanding and appreciation of the unique landscape.
This year, the footprint of the exhibition is expanded to include the nearby Salton Sea, which will be the focus of the Desert, Why? symposium, hosted by the Palm Springs Art museum to address issues including the impending crisis of climate change.
Many visitors will be familiar with at least a handful of the participating artists, chief among them Jenny Holzer, who will present BEFORE I BECAME AFRAID, 2019. The work will juxtapose poetry addressing gun violence and other social issues against the stark landscape of the mountains, culminating in a mountainside projection at Whitewater Preserve.
Sterling Ruby’s contribution, titled SPECTER, is teased as involving a “jarring optical illusion,” which is certainly something to look out for in the coming weeks.
We’re already queuing up portrait mode to capture these works in all their glory when the show opens February 9. But until then, check out the full list of participating artists below.
Nancy Baker Cahill
Eric N. Mack
Chris Taylor & Steve Badgett
Update: Jenny Holzer’s project has been cancelled due to concerns that her work may affect local wildlife.
Follow Artnet News on Facebook:
Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.