desert x 2021 ghada amer

Desert X Goes Big Again

The biennial site-specific outdoor art exhibit in the Coachella Valley is captured in a documentary set to screen Oct. 17 in Rancho Mirage.

Staff Report Arts & Entertainment, Current Digital

desert x 2021 ghada amer

Ghada Amer, Women’s Qualities was installed at Sunnylands Center & Gardens in Rancho Mirage during Desert X 2021.

Desert X is used to dazzling its audiences with large installations situated naturally in the Coachella Valley, and now the site-specific, international art exhibition will hit the big screen with the release of a new documentary film, Desert X 2021 - The Film.

The film’s broadcast premiere will take place Nov. 3 as part of KCET’s original series “Artbound”. Preview screenings will take place at 7 p.m. (PST) Oct. 17 at the Rancho Mirage Amphitheater hosted by the City of Rancho Mirage followed by a panel and Q & A with Desert X 2021 artist Kim Stringfellow, artistic director Neville Wakefield, co-curator César García-Alvarez and film producer Zoe Lukov. A second screening and Q&A will be held Oct. 24 at the Getty Center in Los Angeles.

Free tickets for both screenings may be reserved at A 24-hour online preview at the Desert X website begins at noon (PST) Oct. 29 and continues until noon, Oct. 30.

The film goes behind the scenes of the exhibition, which was curated by Wakefield with García-Alvarez, offering atypical insight into newly commissioned works by 12 participating artists from eight countries. The artists are invited to explore the desert as both a place and idea, and to look deeper at ideas essential to the sustenance of the future and identity and the histories, realities and possibilities of the Coachella Valley and its many communities.

Desert X 2021-The Film takes the viewers inside the artists' studios in Accra, Ghana; Berlin, Germany; Guadalajara, Mexico; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; La Paila, Colombia; London, UK; New York City; Panajachel, Guatemala; and Sitka, Alaska. Through their creations for Desert X, the participating artists explore the current socio-political climate, speaking directly to the Native American Land Back movement, climate change and water rights, histories of feminism, and the urgent issues facing Black lives.

“As part of the reimagination of what an exhibition can be, who it can address and how it can be disseminated, the Desert X 2021 film is both documentary, catalogue and a unique insight into the artists, their motivations, and the specific social and physical landscape that has been the source of their inspiration,“ says Wakefield.

Artists featured in the film include:
 Zahrah Alghamdi (born 1977, Al Bahah, Saudi Arabia, based in Jeddah); 
Ghada Amer (born 1963, Cairo, Egypt, based in New York); 
Felipe Baeza (born 1987, Guanajuato, Mexico, based in New York)
; Serge Attukwei Clottey (born 1985, Accra, Ghana, based in Accra)
; Nicholas Galanin (born 1979, Sitka, Alaska, based in Sitka)
; Alicja Kwade (born 1979, Katowice, Poland, based in Berlin)
; Oscar Murillo (born 1986, Valle del Cauca, Colombia, based in various locations); 
Christopher Myers (born 1974, New York, based in New York)
; Eduardo Sarabia (born 1976, Los Angeles, based in Guadalajara, Mexico)
; Xaviera Simmons (born 1974, New York, based in New York)
; Kim Stringfellow (born 1963, San Mateo, California, based in Joshua Tree)
, and Vivian Suter (born 1949, Buenos Aires, Argentina, based in Panajachel, Guatemala).

Desert X 2021–The Film is directed by Dylan Robertson, produced by Zoe Lukov for Desert X, with Richard Mille as executive producer.

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