Your correspondent went to the desert to do what most people from Los Angeles go to the desert to do: camp and commune with nature. But along the way, I happened upon Desert X, a group installation show featuring 16 fine artists spanning the Coachella Valley and Palm Springs area until the end of April.
I began with Richard Prince’s Third Place exhibit, a sort of cyberpunk graffiti park where lewd images are superimposed over Facebook messages between family members. Everything was printed on vinyl and poster paper and then plastered around a derelict property in the middle of the desert. Something something social media is causing society to crumble away at the seams, much like these long-forgotten buildings once did. You know: art school sh*t. (You can see a few of the NSFW images below.)
richard prince (5 images)
A little disturbed by Prince, I ventured onward to Palm Springs to see Doug Aitken’s Mirage House. This piece was a little easier to apprecaite.
The Mirage House sits on the site of a future housing development outside of Palm Springs. If you’ve been to Palm Springs, you can picture what this development is going to be — ranch houses around a golf course. Unlike the cookie-cutter homes that'll grace the land soon, Aitken’s ranch house is wrapped in mirrors. It reflects the natural world around it, which, though mostly undeveloped now, is about to be replaced by homes.
It’s worth noting that all the rains this year have rendered the otherwise Tatooine-ian landscape as verdant as New Zealand, so visitors are really in for an unusual treat.
doug aitken (4 images)
The Mirage House is open until October, but we’ll be going back to see it as the desert dries out as well as the rest of the installations in Desert X. We recommend you do so too if you’re heading that way for Coachella, Stagecoach or just a little R&R in Palm Springs or Joshua Tree.
Note: Unfortunately the Richard Prince exhibit is no más due to the images being defaced and removed by visitors.