Display London

26 Holborn Viaduct
EC1A 2AQ, London

Deserts of Humanity

Why do people have to be this lonely? What’s the point of it all? Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves. Why? Was the earth put here just to nourish human loneliness?

Haruki Murakami

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Deserts of Humanity is a project that aims to showcase and explore the alienation, isolation and frustration that modern people, mainly in megacities, experience and how that phenomenon has been depicted through the practice of emerging artists who either work or study in the UK. How do young artists perceive and respond to those notions and which forms and structures do they select to visualise their concerns? The show features eleven emerging artists who, through different mediums; painting, video, photography and installation, present works that contain elements of isolation, introversion and distance from the energy and the joy of being alive.


The title of the show has been inspired by Arthur Rimbaud’s hectic and poetic short text, ‘Deserts of Love’, in which, in its final part, as the young man of the story starts making love to his dream woman she suddenly disappears from him. “I understood that she had gone back to her daily life; and that this kind turn and the possibility of it’s recurrence was now more distant than a star. She didn’t return, and never will, this Adorable who paid me a visit – something I never could have foreseen.”


Deserts of Humanity invites the audience to confront with and interpret their own empty spaces, their own wounds, focusing not only in love but in a bigger picture of human conditions and emotions, making the show an open dialogue that raise questions upon our own decisions that form our everyday existence. How close we find ourselves with those works? Can we associate our own worlds with those images? Do modern societies step people away from some basic components of a more humanistic way of living and sharing with each other? Or could that process be perceived as redemption from the friction that human interaction produce and thus help individuals seek their own inner power and orientation in a more tranquil and thoughtful way? The show does not point towards any response but rather transports the audience to a thoughtful and dramatic space, in which we are capable of expanding our thoughts and feelings about our existence and our relations with ourselves and with others… our relation with the life itself…