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Desert X AlUla

Desert X AlUla 2024 Public Art Festival: Exploring the Emptiness

The international exhibition Desert X AlUla once again fills the empty landscape of AlUla in Saudi Arabia with works of public art. In 2024, it spans three venues where 17 artists respond in various ways to the question, “What cannot be seen?”

The theme for this year, titled “Presence of Absence,” aims to challenge stereotypes about the desert as a barren and static place, revealing that it holds much more than meets the eye. Artists participating in Desert X AlUla 2024 were invited to explore ideas of the unseen and the inexpressible. Drawing inspiration from what is not immediately apparent, they engage in new encounters with the landscape, harnessing the power of time, wind, light, history, and myths woven into this place.

The exhibition, now in its third edition, takes place across three locations for the first time: artworks can be seen amidst the black lava stones of Wadi Al-Fann (Valley of Arts), on the volcanic field of Harrat Uwayrid, and in the city at Al-Manshiya Square, against the backdrop of a preserved early 20th-century train station. Desert X AlUla is part of the broader AlUla Arts Festival and will run until March 23, 2024.

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