Desert X AlUla 2024: Exploring Unseen Artwork in Saudi Arabia’s Desert Area from February 9 to March 23
Desert X AlUla will open its newest exhibition themed “Within the Presence of Absence,” from February ninth to March twenty third, 2024. That includes 15 commissioned artworks that discover the unseen, the pageant takes place bi-yearly within the desert area of Saudi Arabia. This version of Desert X AlUla is curated by Maya El Khalil, famend for her artwork advisory and MENA-focused curation, and Marcello Dantas, an award-winning curator identified for his interdisciplinary practices.
Returning for its third version, Desert X AlUla 2024 invitations artists to have interaction with the panorama, nature, and heritage of AlUla. The exhibition goals to place AlUla because the hub for monumental artwork experiences within the area. This yr’s theme, “Within the Presence of Absence,” challenges the idea of deserts as “empty areas.” Artists worldwide are inspired to research conceptual concepts of the invisible, partaking in a dialogue with AlUla’s atmosphere.
We challenged the artists collaborating in Desert X AlUla 2024 to regulate their perspective to come across the unseen points of the place with reverence, attuning to the forces, rhythms, and processes that form the panorama in imperceptible methods. –Maya Khalil, Curator of Desert X AlUla 2024.
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For the primary time, this yr’s version spans three totally different areas: Wadi AlFann, Harrat Uwayrid, and the alManshiyah Plaza. Every of the three websites reveals different traits of AlUla’s panorama and cultural historical past. All artists collaborating draw inspiration from their environment to develop their proposals. Works akin to “Invisible Potentialities: When the Earth Started to Take a look at Itself” by Sara Alissa and Nojoud Alsudairi and “To Breathe – AlUla” by Kimsooja current distinctive viewpoints on the geological and ecological options of the world.
Different noteworthy installations embody the outlined soccer pitch designed by Ayman Yossri Daydban, the golden-wrapped volcanic rocks at Bosco Sodi, and the polished stones by Caline Aoun that symbolize the transience of the desert. The ‘Reveries’ by Rana Haddad and Pascal Hachem pay homage to outdated crafts, whereas Ibrahim Mahama’s clay pots indicate the emergence of latest ecosystems from historic treasures.
As well as, Desert X AlUla 2024 additionally gives immersive experiences, together with Aseel AlYaqoub’s investigation of desert rock varnish and Karola Braga’s scent-based set up “Sfumato.” ‘Preserving Shadows’ by Filwa Nazer and ‘W.A.B.A.R.’ by Monira Al Qadiri discover the historical past and mythology of the area, whereas ‘The Dot’ by Faisal Samra and the sculptures by Rand Abdul Jabbar present contemplative moments spent within the desert panorama.
This yr, a various of actions and occasions akin to talks, workshops, and musical performances are scheduled in the course of the exhibition. In the end, the Desert X AlUla partnership fosters and promotes cross-cultural understanding. Furthermore, the exhibition hopes to determine the precedent for upcoming initiatives in AlUla, like Wadi AlFann, a everlasting land artwork vacation spot scheduled to open in 2026.
Whereas asserting the upcoming dates for this version, Desert X AlUla revealed its core effort to revive your complete area’s inventive legacy, hoping to create alternatives for neighborhood engagement by means of artwork as a supply of schooling. Final yr, Desert X 2023 explored environmental and social focus by means of newly commissioned inventive installations within the Coachella Valley. The yr earlier than, Desert X AlUla 2022 featured 15 contextual installations throughout the Saudi Arabian desert that discover “concepts of mirage and oasis.”