Film Provides Extraordinary Access into the Studios of Renowned Artists Confronting Urgent Socio-Political Themes for Desert X 2021 Exhibition
24-hour Online Preview | Friday, October 29, 2021 at 12 PM to October 30, 2021 at 12 PM
Broadcast Premiere | November 3, 2021, 9 PM on KCET
Palm Springs, Calif., October 4, 2021 – Desert X, the recurring site-specific, international art exhibition, announced today the worldwide release of the new documentary film, Desert X 2021 – The Film.
The film goes behind the scenes of the exhibition, which was curated by artistic director Neville Wakefield with co-curator César 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 our future and identity and the histories, realities and possibilities of the Coachella Valley and its many communities.
“Following widespread lockdowns, Desert X 2021 was one of the first safe, outdoor art experiences in the region, and it was free and open to all,” said Desert X President Susan Davis. “It seemed urgent to make the ideas and conversations provoked by the exhibition available to the widest possible audience as we are doing with this film.”
Desert X 2021-The Film takes us inside the artists’ studios in Accra, Ghana; Berlin, Germany; Guadalajara, Mexico; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; La Paila, Colombia; London, UK; New York City, USA; Panajachel, Guatemala; and Sitka, Alaska, USA. 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. It is at once a record of the past tumultuous 18 months through the eyes and voices of some of the most well-known artists and a timely piece that poses urgent questions about the past while imagining the possibilities of a shared future.
“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,“ said Desert X Artistic Director Neville Wakefied.
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, US, 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, US, based in New York)
Eduardo Sarabia (born 1976, Los Angeles, US, based in Guadalajara, Mexico)
Xaviera Simmons (born 1974, New York, US, based in New York)
Kim Stringfellow (born 1963, San Mateo, CA, US, based in Joshua Tree)
Vivian Suter (born 1949, Buenos Aires, Argentina, based in Panajachel, Guatemala)
The film’s broadcast premiere will take place on November 3, 2021 as part of KCET’s original series ARTBOUND.
Preview screenings will take place on Sunday, October 17, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. PST 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, and on Sunday, October 24, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. PST at the Getty Center, Los Angeles followed by a panel and Q & A with Desert X 2021 artist Nicholas Galanin, Desert X Board Vice President Dr. Steven A. Nash, Co-curator César García-Alvarez and film producer Zoe Lukov.
Free tickets for both screenings may be reserved at desertx.org.
Online and Broadcast Premiere Dates
24-hour online preview at desertx.org beginning Friday, October 29, 2021 at 12 p.m. PT -Saturday, October 30, 2021 at 12 p.m. PT.
Wednesday, November 3 at 9 p.m. PT on KCET.
Friday, November 5 at 8 p.m. PT on PBS SoCal.
Tuesday, November 9 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Link TV.
Desert X 2021–The Film is directed by Dylan Robertson and produced by Zoe Lukov for Desert X. The Executive Producer is Richard Mille.
Desert X 2021 is funded by its board of directors and an extraordinary group of individuals, foundations, and sponsors.
Desert X 2021 was presented by Richard Mille.
With support from Gucci.
Media Partners: artnet, Cultured Magazine, frieze Magazine, Here TV, LocaliQ, part of The
Desert Sun, NBC Palm Springs, Open Spaces Magazine and Palm Springs Life Magazine.
Acknowledgement of Native Land
We acknowledge the Cahuilla People as the original stewards of the land on which Desert X takes place. We are grateful to have the opportunity to work with the indigenous people in this place. We pay our respect to the Cahuilla People, past, present and emerging, who have been here since time immemorial.
About Desert X
Desert X is produced by The Desert Biennial, a 501(c)3 charitable organization, conceived to produce recurring international contemporary art exhibitions that activate desert locations through site-specific installations by acclaimed international artists. Its guiding principles include presenting public exhibitions of art that respond meaningfully to the conditions of desert locations, the environment and the indigenous communities; promoting cultural exchange and education programs that foster dialogue and understanding among cultures and communities about shared artistic, historical, and societal issues; and providing an accessible platform for artists from around the world to address ecological, cultural, spiritual and other existential themes.
Desert X has drawn an audience of more than 1.25 million to its three site-specific exhibitions in the Coachella Valley. Rooted in the Land Art tradition, the exhibitions in 2017, 2019, and 2021
have received critical acclaim and worldwide attention.
Image credits left to right, top to bottom: Desert X installation view of Xaviera Simmons, Because You Know Ultimately We Will Band A Militia, 2021; Desert X 2021 artist performance at Serge Attukwei Clottey, The Wishing Well, 2021; The Jingle Dress Project performance at Desert X installation Nicholas Galanin, Never Forget, 2021.; Desert X installation view of Zahrah Alghamdi, What Lies Behind the Walls, 2021; All photography by Lance Gerber, courtesy the artist and Desert X.