Pia Camil & Julian Hoeber in Desert X
Coachella Valley, CA
February 9-April 21, 2019
Set in two locations across the U.S./Mexico border (Baja, Mexico and the Coachella Valley, CA), Pia Camil's Lover's rainbow presented at Desert X is conceived as an identical set of rainbows made from painted rebar. Exposed rebar usually signals development, but too often in the Mexican landscape we see those dreams thwarted and abandoned. Historically, rainbows have symbolized rain and fertility. Located in desert territory, the act of bending the rebar into the ground is a way to reinsert hope into the land.
The mirrored rainbows are also meant to introduce light into current immigration policies, prompting viewers to see things from two perspectives. Those who cross the border get the full experience -- a trek in search of the rainbow highlights its symbolic power to re-establish hope, love, and inclusiveness when we need it most.
Going Nowhere Pavilion #01
Executed Variant DHS #1
Julian Hoeber's two-part project presented at Desert X functions within the rubric of his Going Nowhere project, an attempt to map aspects of human thought via topology and architecture. Here, Hoeber presents a painting in an empty pool, and a pavilion in the adjoining lot, new work that interacts with local, abandoned structures.
The pavilion itself is a möbius strip made from concrete blocks in a variety of anthropomorphic flesh tones -- the blocks are based on the classic style of concrete breeze blocks used in modernist buildings in hot weather locales, in particular the Coachella Valley. The structure of the möbius strip has particular resonance with the idea that the self and other only appear to be separate, but are in fact contiguous sides of a loop. It also reiterates the idea that the internal subjective experience (interior) and the external objective experience (exterior) are not so easily separated. As with the structure of the möbius strip, what is inside and outside can become indiscernible. The painting is also an image of the mind in its own way -- utilizing the infinite regress motif of Hoeber's Execution Changes paintings -- a visual rhyme in the study of phenomenological consciousness. The pool and the pavilion are both physical spaces one can walk around within, thereby experiencing the form from its center rather than from a critical distance.
In both parts of the work, Hoeber seeks to parse out how forms can describe the problems of thought and represent both the logical, irrational, historical, and corporeal experiences of consciousness.
Desert X is produced by Desert Biennial, a not-for-profit 501(C)(3) charitable organization founded in 2015 to bring the finest international artists to the Coachella Valley to create art, engage viewers, and focus attention on the valley's environment -- its natural wonders as well as socio-political-economic issues that make it vibrant, curious, and exciting.