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חפצים - עיצוב הבית DESERT X<br> Saudi Arabia - The Biennale in the Oasis<br> Surprising the Eye and Fascinating the Mind

DESERT X
Saudi Arabia – The Biennale in the Oasis
Surprising the Eye and Fascinating the Mind

By Tami Klein

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In 2017, the DESERT X Biennale was first established in the Coachella Valley, in California’s Colorado desert, with Neville Wakefield as the Biennale’s artistic director. But the surprise came this year, when the Biennale was held in Saudi Arabia’s Alula Oasis, Al-Ala, in collaboration with the Royal Commission of Alula (RCU).  Joining the artistic director were two Saudi curators – Ranem Farsi and Aya Alireza.

The Alula Oasis is located 1100 km from Riyadh, in northwestern Saudi Arabia and contains the remains of the kingdoms of Didan and the Nabataeans, who began living there in the 7th century BCE. The Spice Road, one of antiquity’s most important and well-known trade routes, passes through Al-Ala on its way from the south of the Arabian Peninsula to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, just part of the larger network of trade routes running between the East, India, and Europe. In the oasis one finds signs of life and death, the remnants of dwellings and tombs. UNESCO has even recently recognized settlements along the Spice Road in this desert, such as Hegra, Dedan and the ancient city of Al-Ala, as cultural heritage sites.

חפצים - עיצוב הבית DESERT X<br> Saudi Arabia - The Biennale in the Oasis<br> Surprising the Eye and Fascinating the Mind

QALAA  – מבצר בו שכנו העולים למקא. נמצא ליד נווה מדבר אל-עלא

The Al-Ala Desert as the DESERT X location for 2020 represents an extremely interesting choice. Check out below images of the installations set up for the Biennale in this location and you’ll see how fascinating dialogues were created with the history and culture of the place, with nature, and especially with the power of the desert. Artists from Saudi Arabia, Arab countries and Western countries took part in the Biennale.

חפצים - עיצוב הבית DESERT X<br> Saudi Arabia - The Biennale in the Oasis<br> Surprising the Eye and Fascinating the Mind

DXA Lita Alburqueque

חפצים - עיצוב הבית DESERT X<br> Saudi Arabia - The Biennale in the Oasis<br> Surprising the Eye and Fascinating the Mind

DXA Lita Alburqueque

חפצים - עיצוב הבית DESERT X<br> Saudi Arabia - The Biennale in the Oasis<br> Surprising the Eye and Fascinating the Mind

DXA Lita Alburqueque

חפצים - עיצוב הבית DESERT X<br> Saudi Arabia - The Biennale in the Oasis<br> Surprising the Eye and Fascinating the Mind

DXA Rayyane Tabet

The exposure of extraordinary landscapes with age-old cultural significance via contemporary artistic installations expands the limits of what is culturally possible, surprises the eye, and fascinates the mind.

חפצים - עיצוב הבית DESERT X<br> Saudi Arabia - The Biennale in the Oasis<br> Surprising the Eye and Fascinating the Mind

DXA Manal Al Dowayany

חפצים - עיצוב הבית DESERT X<br> Saudi Arabia - The Biennale in the Oasis<br> Surprising the Eye and Fascinating the Mind

DXA Manal Al Dowayany

חפצים - עיצוב הבית DESERT X<br> Saudi Arabia - The Biennale in the Oasis<br> Surprising the Eye and Fascinating the Mind

DXA Nadim Karan

חפצים - עיצוב הבית DESERT X<br> Saudi Arabia - The Biennale in the Oasis<br> Surprising the Eye and Fascinating the Mind

DXA Nadim Karan

Note for example the installation of the prominent pyramid cut in two.  Its pink color screams from its interior parts, which were built using pallets for transporting goods. This impressive installation is the work of artist Rashed Al Shashai. Or the sand and water tanks, a project of Zahran Alghamdi, as the sparkling sunlight in the water are reminiscent of fata morgana in the desert.

חפצים - עיצוב הבית DESERT X<br> Saudi Arabia - The Biennale in the Oasis<br> Surprising the Eye and Fascinating the Mind

DXA Rashed Al Shashai

חפצים - עיצוב הבית DESERT X<br> Saudi Arabia - The Biennale in the Oasis<br> Surprising the Eye and Fascinating the Mind

DXA Rashed Al Shashai

חפצים - עיצוב הבית DESERT X<br> Saudi Arabia - The Biennale in the Oasis<br> Surprising the Eye and Fascinating the Mind

DXA Zahra Alghamdi

חפצים - עיצוב הבית DESERT X<br> Saudi Arabia - The Biennale in the Oasis<br> Surprising the Eye and Fascinating the Mind

DXA Zahra Alghamdi

חפצים - עיצוב הבית DESERT X<br> Saudi Arabia - The Biennale in the Oasis<br> Surprising the Eye and Fascinating the Mind

DXA Zahra Alghamdi

Observing the photographs of the projects ignites the observer’s associative imagination – from our spirit to the spirit of the artist in his extraordinary dialogue with the Al-Ala desert. And as a final treat, to sense the desert and the art created in it, watch the video below, it is an absolute must. 

חפצים - עיצוב הבית DESERT X<br> Saudi Arabia - The Biennale in the Oasis<br> Surprising the Eye and Fascinating the Mind

DXA El Seed

חפצים - עיצוב הבית DESERT X<br> Saudi Arabia - The Biennale in the Oasis<br> Surprising the Eye and Fascinating the Mind

DXA Superflex

חפצים - עיצוב הבית DESERT X<br> Saudi Arabia - The Biennale in the Oasis<br> Surprising the Eye and Fascinating the Mind

DXA Superflex

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