Get your cameras ready. The artist list for the fourth edition of Desert X is here, and it promises to be a stunning show.
The site-specific international art exhibition runs from March 4 through May 7, 2023, and features a cohort of 11 multigenerational artists hailing from Europe, North America, and South Asia, each of whom will produce an artwork responding to the dramatic landscape of the Coachella Valley in Palm Springs, California.
Returning this year is artistic director Neville Wakefield and co-curator Diana Campbell, who together selected the artists to create works that both respond to and take cues from their environment.
“There’s a saying attributed to the Kwakwaka’wakw nation that a place is a story happening many times,” Wakefield said in a statement. “This idea of place as the multiplicity of stories flowing through it is central to Desert X.”
Campbell describes the works as “artistic interventions that make visible how our energy has a transference far beyond what we see just in front of us in our own localities.”
The artists are cast in the role of storytellers, bridging the divide between global issues and individual responsibility and experience. Torkwase Dyson’s engages the dichotomy of the body as a vessel filled with water, and its physicality within an environment like the desert, where water is a rapidly fading memory. Meanwhile, Tschabalala Self takes on the archetypes of the American West, reconstituting the traditional equestrian statue with a work that highlights the Black and Native women who have long been excluded from this history.
Other projects touch on issues of migration, conspiracy theories rooted in the Western expanse, the proliferation of street vendors, and the notion of invisible labor. Even the image of the mechanical bull and its relationship to masculinity—conceived in projects spanning performance, film, and sculpture—is presented against the dramatic backdrop of the desert.
More details, including a detailed map of the installations, will be available on March 4. Until then, see the full artist list below.
Rana Begum, b. 1977, Bangladesh, based in London
Lauren Bon, b. 1962, USA, based in Los Angeles
Gerald Clarke, b. 1967, USA, based in Anza, California
Paloma Contreras Lomas, b. 1991, Mexico, based in Mexico City
Torkwase Dyson, b. 1973, USA, based in Beacon, New York
Mario García Torres, b.1975, Mexico, based in Mexico City
Hylozoic/Desires (Himali Singh Soin, b. 1987, India, based in London and Delhi and David Soin Tappeser, b.1985, Germany, based in London and Delhi)
Matt Johnson, b. 1978, USA, based in Los Angeles
Tschabalala Self, b. 1990, USA, based in New York
Marina Tabassum, b. 1968, Dhaka, Bangladesh, based in Dhaka
Héctor Zamora, b.1974, Mexico City, Mexico, based in Mexico City