What the Desert Already Has

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July 12, 2023 @ 8:30 am - October 28, 2023 @ 4:30 pm

“What the Desert Already Has” by Arizona based artist Jen Urso focuses on the small, time-consuming effort of life in the desert, from seed to plant. This piece uses soil harvested from Mormon Mesa, where Michael Heizer created “Double Negative.” The soil was placed in two 1/120 scale trenches, which is irrigated and lit with grow lights to encourage dormant seeds to grow. Intended as a long-term, slow performance, this piece focuses on the small, persistent efforts of abundant desert life, contrasted with the large, destructive bulldozing and mark-making of 1960s/70s land artists like Heizer. The accompanying Mormon Mesa botanical poster features plants found by the artist and citizen scientists on iNaturalist with information on known ethnobotanical uses.

“What the Desert Already Has” will be on display at the Lost City Museum from July 12, 2023, until Oct. 20, 2023. Entry into the Lost City Museum is $6 for adults, members and children 17 and younger are free. Postcards and posters relating to “What the Desert Already Has” will be available for sale within the museum store.




721 S. Moapa Valley Blvd.
Overton, NV 89040 United States
Phone: 7023972193