JANUARY 31 – MARCH 7, 2020

[Click here for Arabic version]

Co-curated by Desert X Artistic Director Neville Wakefield and Saudi curators and contemporary art specialists Raneem Farsi and Aya Alireza, Desert X AlUla is an exhibition that will take place in the landscape of the extraordinary and historically significant desert region of AlUla, northwest Saudi Arabia, which is home to the country’s first UNESCO world heritage site. Organized collaboratively by Desert X and the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) in Saudi Arabia, the exhibition will be on view from January 31–March 7, 2020 as part of AlUla’s annual cultural festival Winter at Tantora.

Desert X AlUla is the first international collaboration for Desert X, which was founded to connect desert communities and cultures through contemporary art. The exhibition will bring together artists from Saudi Arabia and the surrounding region with artists from around the world presenting large-scale installations, including site-specific works and commissions that respond to the landscape and specific conditions of the desert. 

Desert X AlUla will create an international dialogue about the desert and shared interests through art works that respond to different desert cultures and environmental conditions, and to the historical context of AlUla. Serving as the gateway from Arabia to the East and West for millennia AlUla has been a cultural crossroads, where successive civilizations and peoples have left their mark on the landscape. The landscape combines works of nature and humankind, expressing a long and symbiotic relationship between people and their environment. 

RCU’s vision for AlUla pledges to reinvigorate, protect and preserve AlUla as a vibrant, open museum and a unique global destination for heritage, nature and the arts, the first phase of which is delivering an annual temporary exhibitions programme in the landscape, building partnerships with institutions, artists and curators, and developing local arts skills and infrastructure including training artisans in heritage arts and design principles to build livelihoods in AlUla.



The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU)

Desert X AlUla
Lyn Winter, Inc.

Images: Qasr al-Farid at UNESCO World Heritage Site Hegra / AlUla Landscape / Elephant Rock, AlUla. Images courtesy RCU.