The fantastic house of mirrors, Mirage, is based on the traditional American ranch. The unique design made by the artist Doug Aitkens comprises of mirrored panels inside and out, creating a bewildering and borderline traumatic mirage appearance of the surrounding landscape.
The Mirage is part of an art installation at the Desert X Art Festival, featuring 16 remarkable artworks spreading across 45 miles of the valley. The reflective mirrors placed on the facade give a dramatic and freakish outlook of the structure appearing and disappearing into the desert. The inside panels make everything a head spinning task, even going to the bathroom!
The artist credits his work to the beloved architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, who is known for coming up with the classic and now ubiquitous, American ranch home design.
Aitken discussed his design,
‘After World War II, the ranch style’s streamlined simplicity gained popularity as commercial builders employed a simplified assembly line approach to create this efficient form, matching the rapid growth of the suburbs’
‘Mirage distills the recognisable and repetitious suburban home into the essence of its lines, reflecting and disappearing into the vast western landscape’
The variable intensity of the sun-rays striking the mirror house make it disappear into the arid Californian desert at one point. Even the slight change in the viewing angles provide a mind-altering experience that can easily distort the orientation of the onlooker.
‘Like a human-scale lens, MIRAGE works to frame and distort the evolving world outside of it. There is no single time to view this work, as each variation provides something new.’
‘At night the distant lights refract to create a universe of stars; on a tranquil afternoon the sky is transformed into banks of blue fragmented by slices of clouds. There is no fixed perspective or correct interpretation. Each experience of this living artwork will be unique’
Desert X is hosted at different sites across the Californian desert by the artistic director, Neville Wakefield. This festival began on February 25, and continued till April 30, 2017.