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Dedicated to the three iterations of the Mirage installation in Palm Springs, Detroit, and Gstaad (2017–2021), this publication offers the reader an experiential book that shares some of the characteristics of Mirage: the immersive emotion, the disrupted perception, the merging of the viewer and the landscape. This unique publication is thus not only about Mirage; it is conceived as an immersion in the artwork’s atmosphere.
A site-specific installation successively exhibited in the California desert outside Palm Springs, a defunct Detroit bank, and the Alpine landscape of Gstaad, Mirage is inspired by the ranch-style suburban American house—informed by the ideas of architect Frank Lloyd Wright—and entirely composed of reflective mirrored surfaces. A visual echo-chamber, its mirrored surfaces form a life-size kaleidoscope that absorbs and reflects the landscape. Subject and object, interior and exterior, the tangible and the ephemeral, the psychological and the physical, built architecture and landscape : each of these oppositional forces are held in constant tension, yet allowed to shift and transform during the passing of time and seasons. Like a human-sized lens, Mirage works to frame and distort the evolving world outside of it. There is no single time to view this work, as each moment provides a new variation: 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 is unique. “I’m interested in the viewer seeing themselves in the work,” Aitken says about his installation, which also dialogues with the history of the Land art.
Designed by Arno Baudin (Zolo Press), this book gathers together never-before-published photo-documentation on the three Mirage installations, drawings, and other material related to the project, a comprehensive text by Neville Wakefield, as well as an interview with the artist on the history and evolution of Mirage over the years and in its different locations. Featuring cold foils, special inks, silver printing, and bound as a leporello to reflect on the mirror-like quality of Mirage, this publication is a limited edition that will become a collectible volume for both art amateurs and book lovers.
Doug Aitken (b. 1968, lives in Los Angeles) is an American artist and filmmaker. Utilizing a wide array of artistic approaches from sculpture, film, and installation to architectural intervention, Aitken’s immersive works lead us into a world where time, space, and memory are fluid concepts, and experience is key. He has recently exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Modern Art, Vienna Secession, the Serpentine Gallery, and the Centre Pompidou. Aitken earned the International Prize at the Venice Biennale in 1999 for his installation, electric earth.
This book is co-published with Zolo Press, in collaboration with LUMA.