DESERT X —Ala Champ
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MOCHISHO SHIZUKU Shinmachi

Utilising Ancient Herbs and Organic Ingredients, Traditional Japanese Sweets With Healing Properties

JAPANESE CRAFTSMANSHIP: BAMBOO WEAVING

In The Quiet Backstreets Of Kyoto's South Higashiya, Find A Master Craftsman

SORANO HOTEL

On The Outskirts Of Central Tokyo Discover True Wellness, And A Spectacular Infinity Pool

Serpentine Pavilion 2022

Artist Theaster Gates Designs the 21st Pavilion

BRUT-AL

Argentinian-Australian Designer Alexander Lotersztain's Ode to Brutalism

Serpentine Pavilions 2000-2021

A Champ Online Retrospective Of Two Decades of The Radical Architectural Event

PURE FORM

The Art Gallery of South Australia Presents Japan's Avant-Garde Ceramics

KABIRA & KANGRI

The Beauty Of Indian Textile Craftsmanship In ISSEY MIYAKE Sub-Brand HaaT's SS22 Collection

NAKAGIN CAPSULE TOWER

End Of An Era For Japanese Architect Kisho Kurokawa's 1972 Metabolist Structure

MIROKU Nara by The Share Hotels

A Sense of Natural Calm At This Design Hotel in Nara, Designed By Keiji Ashizawa & Fumihiko Sano

DENNIS YONG

Melbourne's Bright, Young and Radical Chef Addressing Food Waste through Fermentation

PHOTOGRAPHERS SERIES: NIKKI MCCLARRON

The London-Based Photographer On 'The Beauty Of Unexpected Moments'

MAME KUROGOUCHI Fall Winter 2022

Finding the “Presentness of the Past” in Nagano’s Nature And The Rich History of the Jōmon Period

ISSEY MIYAKE Autumn Winter 2022/23

Designer Satoshi Kondo Embraces The Beauty Of Untamed Nature In 'Sow It and Let It Grow'

FUJIKO NAKAYA

“Nature Controls Herself. I Try To Let Nature Speak.”

UNDERCOVER A/W 22-23 Womens

Cold Flame: Designer Jun Takahashi Explores An Inner Rebellion With Punk Femininity In All Its Forms

DESERT X

The Beauty of the Coachella Valley Desert Landscape, Highlighted by 20 International Artists

March, 2019
'Western Flag (SPINDLETOP, TEXAS) 2014' by John Gerrard | Reminds us of the impact of exploitation of natural resources | Desert X 2019 | Photograph Lance Gerber

Desert X, the renowned biennale set in the stunning environment of the Coachella Valley desert, invites 20 international artists to reinterpret the surrounding landscape through their work. The environment is key here, with all works site-specific. Produced by Desert Biennial, a not-for-profit charitable organisation, the works all intend to address and highlight urgent social, political and economic issues. Artists such as Iván Argote, Armando Lerma, Sterling Ruby, Eric N. Mack, Pia Camil, Kathleen Ryan, Gary Simmons, Julian Hoeber, Iran Issa, Mary Kelly and collectives Superflex and PostCommodity, present works in various parts of the Valley, indoors or outdoors. A comprehensive map of the area pinpoints where artworks exactly reside for those exploring the biennale.

John Gerrard reminds us of the impact of exploitation of natural resources in his video work Western Flag screened with the Valley landscape as a backdrop. The new photographic series by Cara Romero titled Jackrabbit, Cottontail & Spirits of the Desert presents time-travelling visitors from the Chemehuevi tribe exploring their sister tribes’ (Cahuilla, Serrano and Mojave) ancestral lands again, reminding us of the deep connection we all posses to nature and the earth. Sterling Ruby‘s SPECTER, a giant fluorescent orange monolith, highlights the Valley by emphasising the striking contrast between his work and the desert. The abrasive orange is often seen as an alarm, with the work here evoking care for the harsh yet fragile landscape. Superflex‘s DIVE IN also warns us but in a different way, reminding us that global warming will drastically reshape the habitat of our planet and reminiscing that the Coachella Valley desert was once submerged under water and this may re-occur once again in the future.

With works site-specific it is both a strength and a weakness, each artwork is exposed vulnerably to the elements. Artist Eric N. Mack‘s Halter presented in a disused gas station saw the work at the mercy of the exposed environment, with the fabrics used in the piece (donated by Missoni) vanishing into the desert landscape. (Note: with the work now closed, some have suggested it may have also been the force of a human hand). All artworks are intended to evolve, and because of the nature of the biennale, artists submit to nature’s way in the desert as soon as they sign up. Nature continues to wonder us with its fragility and force, and indeed the star of the show may be infact the Coachella Valley itself, a masterpiece which continues to endure and prevail over time.

Desert X 2019 runs until April 21, with the next biennale in 2021.

'SPECTER' by Sterling Ruby | A site-specific artwork, installed in a dis-used gas station | Desert X 2019
Desert X 2019 map
'HALTER' by Eric N. Mack | A site-specific artwork, installed in a dis-used gas station | Desert X 2019
'Jackrabbit, Cottontail & Spirits of the Desert' by Cara Romero | The photographic series highlights the history of the ancestral lands | Desert X 2019

DESERT X 2019

COACHELLA VALLEY, CA

FEBRUARY 9 – APRIL 21, 2019 | Free and open to the public

#Champ_California 

March, 2019