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Desert X 2021 cocurator César Garcia-Alvarez. Photo: Ryan Orange, courtesy Desert X.
Desert X 2021 cocurator César Garcia-Alvarez. Photo: Ryan Orange, courtesy Desert X.

César García-Alvarez Appointed Cocurator of 2021 Desert X

Mexican-born, Los Angeles–based curator César García-Alvarez has been named cocurator of the third edition of Desert X, which is slated to run in the Coachella Valley from February 6 to April 11, 2021. Helmed by executive director Jenny Gil, Desert X was founded in 2017 to activate desert regions through the commissioning of site-specific works by contemporary artists.

“The Coachella Valley is a vibrant and complex locale of layered histories forged by a multitude of communities,” said García-Alvarez. “I look forward to spending time in the region working closely with artists, local residents, and other stakeholders in order to put together an exhibition that considers the desert not just as an ecology but also as a home, a border, and an idea.” 

García-Alvarez is the founder and head of the Mistake Room (TMR), a nonprofit contemporary art space in LA. Previously, he was the associate director and senior curator of LAXART from 2007 to 2012. He also served as one of the cocurators of the inaugural “Made in L.A.” biennial at the Hammer Museum in 2012 and as the US commissioner for the Thirteenth International Cairo Biennial in Egypt from 2012 to 2013.

García-Alvarez will work closely with artistic director Neville Wakefield, who cocurated the organization’s controversial project in Saudi Arabia, Desert X AlUla, with Raneem Farsi and Aya Alireza—the event faced backlash from critics who argued that Desert X should have refrained from partnering with the country over its track record of human-rights abuses. Featuring works by Manal AlDowayan, Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim, and Rayyane Tabet, among others, Desert X AlUla will be on view until March 7.