Futuristic Large-Scale Installations Built In The Heart Of Al Ula Desert In Saudi Arabia
A host of large-scale installations have been built amidst the canyons of the Al Ula desert in Saudi Arabia that reflect the landscape and its heritage for the returning Desert X exhibition. Previously located in the Californian desert, in the area known for hosting the annual Coachella music festival, Desert X Al Ula is the first site-responsive exhibition of its kind in Saudi Arabia.
Participating artists include Copenhagen studio Superflex, American artist Lita Albuquerque and Saudi Arabian artist Nasser Al Salem. Each of the works, which range from artificial puddles that double as trampolines to a three-seater swing, are intended to encourage dialogue about the desert and reflect on the area’s history.
By bringing a site-specific contemporary art exhibition to the Saudi desert, the curators hope to create connections between different individuals by sparking conversations about culture.
Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim’s Falling Stones Garden features 320 brightly coloured sculptures informed by the natural rockfall of the surrounding cliffs
eL Seed’s Mirage sculpture takes inspiration from Al Ula’s ancient trade routes
Rashed AlShashai’s work references Al Ula’s natural rock formations that were once used for shelter by travellers
Manal Al Dowayan created a set of puddle-like installations made from large trampolines
Zahrah AlGhamdi placed thousands of old date tins in a glistening river-like formation as an ode to the desert’s agricultural wealth
Gisela Colon’s work is juxtaposed against the natural canyon backdrop to reflect the precariousness of human life in the anthropocene era
Nasser Al Salem installed a short tunnel in the Saudi desert for his Amma Qabl artwork
Superflex studio’s One Two Three Swing! features several sets of three-seated swings conjoined by a zig-zagging support