Desert X 2019: Coachella Valley — Palm Springs, California.
Desert X was a truly great experience and I highly recommend to anyone that has the means should attend. One double edged side of this collective installation is that it’s spread across the Coachella Valley. I attended the week(end) that Valentine’s Day fell around. If you didn’t catch the news on weather that weekend, well, it was intense. However, I think most our nation has had a pretty wet winter, so it’s probably been easy to not notice what’s been happening in other parts of the country. I wasn’t able to visit every piece and some altogether were unreachable due to floods and random bighorn sheep disease. But that’s okay, I didn’t expect to see it all.
I do hold some contempt over it feeling somewhat trendy and the stream of hipsters parading to and from each piece. I feel for the local artists that most likely are being passed by and praise their efforts in putting up their own work in the midst of this highly acclaimed showing. I don’t know much about the logistics of this or if its frowned upon or what… But sometimes you gotta do what ya gotta do.
As for what I did see, I feel the concepts and ideas were easily articulated and formulated for the masses and the execution was extremely well done. I think that probably comes off pompus or jaded or like I think that they could have done better in some way, but no that’s not my intent. Just to be clear. I think everything came together well and has attracted enough of a crowd for this to keep going into the future. I praise all artists involved and hope to see it grow. Once or twice I will admit maybe I felt some sort of lack luster, but that’s mostly due to my antipaction of everything. So I won’t read anyone for that directly and maintain that fault lies on me.
I’ll reiterate, GO SEE IT IF YOU CAN! Follow me for more photos and videos of this event and more. Thank you!
Selections from Instagram
Western Flag | John Gerrard
Here’s a video clip I put together for those unable to make the journey to the Coachella Valley to experience Desert X in person. Hopefully this gives more dimension and a better feel for this particular piece. Pardon my lack of cinematography and editing skills with fine-tuning this clip, or else it probably wouldn’t ever get posted. The words that overlay in the piece were taken from the Desert X website itself. Link below.
Art Critic Reviews + Related Articles
Cascone, Sarah. “In the Vast Beauty of the Coachella Valley, Desert X Artists Emphasize the Perils of Climate Change” artnet News, Feb. 12, 2019. https://news.artnet.com/exhibitions/desert-x-2019-2-1462891
Howarth, Dan. “California’s Desert X returns with colourful and provocative installations” Dezeen, Feb. 19, 2019. https://www.dezeen.com/2019/02/19/desert-x-installations-coachella-valley/
Knight, Christopher. “Review: For Desert X 2019, I drove 198 miles to see 19 artists’ work. Here’s the best” Los Angeles Times, Feb. 23, 2019. https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/la-et-cm-desert-x-review-2019-20190223-story.html
Messman, Lauren. “Jenny Holzer’s Desert X Installation Postponed Over Concern for Bighorn Sheep” The New York Times, Feb. 7, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/07/arts/design/jenny-holzer-desert-x-sheep.html
Zara, Janelle. “Beware the Elements: Desert X Turns California’s Coachella Valley Into Open Exhibition Space” ARTnews, Feb. 12, 2019. http://www.artnews.com/2019/02/12/desert-x-coachella-valley-exhibition-space/