Desert X AlUla returns: contemporary art engages with desert symbols

The event takes place from February 9th to March 23rd, and this third edition’s theme will be “In the Presence of Absence“.

From February 9th to March 23rd, 2024, you can visit the third edition of Desert X AlUla in Saudi Arabia, curated by Maya El Khalil and Marcello Dantas, with artistic direction from Raneem Farsi and Neville Wakefield. This year's theme is “the presence of absence”, and 15 site-specific monumental works specially developed by artists from around the world will explore what cannot be seen.

The question driving this edition is "What cannot be seen?". Often considered spaces of emptiness, deserts appear to many as mute, static landscapes, but in reality, there is much more than meets the eye. The participating artists have therefore been invited to explore the concepts of the invisible and the inexpressible. This year, the exhibition will occupy three different locations for the first time. The desert landscape of Wadi AlFann, the black lava stone terrain with breathtaking views of the volcanic area of Harrat Uwayrid; and AlManshiyah Plaza, which features the carefully preserved AlUla Railway Station, revealing the numerous layers of history and culture of the city of AlUla.

The artists featured this year are Aseel AlYaqoub, Ayman Yossri Daydban, Bosco Sodi, Caline Aoun, Faisal Samra, Filwa Nazer, Giuseppe Penone, Ibrahim Mahama, Kader Attia, Karola Braga, Kimsooja, Monira Al Qadiri, Nojoud Alsudairi, Pascal Hachem, Rana Haddad, Rand Abdul Jabbar, and Sara Alissa.

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