Art & Design

Doug Aitken Puts a Mirror to Coachella in Desert X

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California is the state where Doug Aitken is currently situated, where he was born and also where he chose to put one of his most stunning works to date. The artist and filmmaker have constructed an entirely mirrored house in the cinematic scenes of the Southern Californian desert. The ‘Mirage’ house is part of Desert X, an installation of 16 site-specific art pieces located in the arid Coachella valley.

Doug Aitken defies specialisation, exploring mediums from film to sculpture, and architectural interventions. His has exhibited everywhere from the MoMA to the Serpentine Gallery in London and had never skimped on the scale, projecting on whole buildings and creating a Sonic Pavilion in Brazil. His works explore the way people experience memory and narrative, as well as relate the quickening urban environment.

While not his first reflective piece, having worked previously with mirrored typography, ‘Mirage’ could be considered the most impactful. Taking in the cityscape, it creates a transformative kaleidoscope of its surroundings. During the day fracturing peaceful skies; in the evening coming alive with the glittering of synthetic city lights. In the form of a traditional American ranch-style home, all but the floors have been cast in mirrors. The architecture style founded in the West by Frank Lloyd Wright and suburbanised in the 20/30s became popular post-WWII. It’s success in its streamlined form that could be efficiently reproduced on an assembly line to meet demand. Here, from its theoretical beginnings, the familiar shape is allowed to disappears into the vast, natural landscape.

Desert X runs from 25 February 2017 to 30 April 2017, although Aitken’s Mirage will remain in place until 31 October 2017.

doug aitken
Desert X
doug aitken
Desert X
doug aitken
Desert X
doug aitken
Twilight in Coachella Valley. Credit: Lance Gerber & Daktoa Higgins

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