“Deserts are not dead places. Dry and hostile, yes, but teeming with human and non-human lives evolved to not only survive but flourish in such conditions. Deserts are, according to Diana Campbell, co-curator of Desert X 2023, places full of mythologies.

This year’s Desert X, a biennial spread across California’s Coachella Valley, adds to those mythologies but seeks to do so in a way which doesn’t romanticise or patronise. As fellow co-curator and artistic director Neville Wakefield suggests, ‘there’s a First Nation saying that “place is a story happening many times” and I think Desert X is part of that storytelling.’

It is often the case that stories told through large-scale sculpture within photogenic landscapes can become ultra-Instagrammable one-liners in which form and spectacle trumps nuance or narrative. With towering snow-capped mountains, vast dry flats, and fantastical rock formations juxtaposed against man-made turbines, infrastructure, and architecture, exhibiting in the Coachella Valley is no small feat. As Campbell tells Wallpaper*, it might be ‘a challenge for many artists to deal with the harshness and the elegance’ of the Coachella Valley…”

[Read the full article at wallpaper.com]