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Saudi Conducts Expo in the Desert

The Royal Commission for AlUla has collaborated with Desert X to bring an interactive installation to the area for the first time. Desert X began in 2017, in California’s Coachella Valley, as a way to connect modern art with desert communities and cultures.

It is Desert X’s first international collaboration and starts on Jan. 31, running through to March 7, as part of AlUla’s Winter at Tantora festival. AlUla Valley is famed for its rock formations, dramatic desert landscape, and archaeological treasures. Neville Wakefield, artistic director and co-curator for Desert X, said the exhibition would bring together local artists and ones from further afield.

Site-specific exhibitions differ greatly from a gallery setup in a museum with a controlled or fixed environment. Curators and artists face more external factors that could hinder the installation process from the weather to safety measures such as falling rocks.
Artists were brought to the Kingdom on a site visit last year to process the surroundings and create their own installation proposals.
They were selected based on their response to the landscape, not only its physical nature but culturally, historically and socially.


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