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Artistic Inspiration

Doug Aitken's Mirror-Clad "Mirage" in Coachella Valley

Currently taking place across the Coachella Valley and its desert landscape is “Desert-X," a new outdoor exhibition of art installations and site-specific works by the American artist and filmmaker Doug Aitken. Part of the epic project is ‘Mirage’ — a typical California ranch style suburban house completely clad in reflective mirrored surfaces. Aitken drew from the iconic ranch typology and the rich history of the area, sourcing stylistic cues from Frank Lloyd Wright’s highly influential role in shaping the American West.

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Photography by Dakota Higgins

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Photography by Lance Gerber

Located at the juncture where the San Jacinto Mountain Range opens up to the Coachella Valley, ‘Mirage‘ acts as a life-size kaleidoscope, reflecting the surrounding vast, arid landscape. The reflective installation changes throughout the day, creating a range of unique experiences.

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Photography by Lance Gerber

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Photography by Lance Gerber

Each variation provides viewers with a different engagement and sense of space — at night, the distant lights bounce of the building’s façade and create a universe of stars; in the afternoon, blue skies are transformed into fragments of color intersected by pieces of clouds.

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Photography by Lance Gerber

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Photography by Dakota Higgins

Aitken tried to reconfigure the idea of the suburban home by removing its inhabitants and their possessions. He has done away with the doors and windows so the structure is not private or secure. Inside, the reflective surfaces create a “fun-house” effect intended to evoke confusion rather than comfort.

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Photography by Dakota Higgins

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Photography by Lance Gerber

‘Mirage’ will remain on view through October 31, 2017, after Desert X’s conclusion on April 30, 2017.For more information on David Aitken and ‘Mirage’, visit dougaitkenmirage.com/.

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Photography by Dakota Higgins