Joshua Tree artist Kim Stringfellow has brought Jackrabbit Homestead to Desert X 2021. PHOTOGRAPHS BY LANCE GERBER AND JULIAN VALDERRAMA
Who would suspect that a 122-square-foot cabin could lead to conversations about class, sustainability, and public lands.
Situated between the Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce and a CVS Pharmacy, Kim Stringfellow’s Jackrabbit Homestead creates this dialogue by tapping into the narrative of her book by the same title as part of Desert X 2021, which opened March 12 and runs through May 16. An exhibition of site-specific artworks installed across the Coachella Valley, this year’s Desert X presents the works of 13 artists from around the globe
Stringfellow, who resides in Joshua Tree, is the only participating Desert X artist with ties to the area. Her book puts a face on the Small Tract Act of 1938, which was enacted as a response to World War I service members who were looking to live in the desert for health and recreational reasons.
Her story is one of many told by Palm Springs Life editor-in-chief Steven Biller during a virtual tour of Desert X that will be available to view starting March 18. For art enthusiasts and novices, the video tour provides context for what can be seen in person along with helpful tips to enrich your experience. For those unable to make the trek to the desert, the tour provides insights into each artist’s work and how “the desert functions as both place and idea,” says Desert X artistic director Neville Wakefield.
Like Stringfellow, nearly all of the artists visited the Coachella Valley with some projects developing over a period of three years, according to co-curator César García-Alvarez. The pandemic forced much of the most recent work on the installations to happen remotely.
In one case, artist Oscar Murillo collaborated with hundreds of Coachella Valley students. He had canvases and materials delivered to the kids’ homes where many have spent the last year learning remotely. He asked them to paint what they were feeling. Their art have been digitized for an online archive, while Murillo is staging a single, large-scale installation that will be viewed at a variety of venues during Desert X.
“While this exhibition is not about a global pandemic, it inevitably is shaped by one. And along the way we look to artists like we always do to help us make sense of this new world or perhaps most importantly to give us glimpses of the one that'll come after,” says García-Alvarez.
To purchase the $5 ticket for the virtual tour, visit palmspringslife.com/our-events/desert-x-tour.
For more on Desert X, visit desertx.org.