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Can you see it? There’s a house in the distance. Its essence is there, but it’s not quite apparent. Doug Aitken’s Mirage depicts a house made entirely of mirrors, sat upon a mountainside in the South Californian desert. The Mirage house slips in and out of existence as it blends seamlessly into its surroundings, yet it stands out just enough to create extraordinary symmetrical patterns within its natural ecosystem. The project is impressive, strikingly beautiful, and it went viral the moment it was presented. Now, it’s coming in the form of an art book, Mirage, published by Zolo Press and JRP | Editions.

The California ranch-style home was built specifically for this project and was designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. This particular one-story style of structural unit began to popularise after World War I and soon became the go-to staple of the American suburban community.

Building this house in the rural desert adjacent to the urban and suburban regions of Southern California is a strong statement by Aitken. Not only this, but it quite literally reflects its surroundings – the society, the nature, the weather, the sunlight, and the moonlight. This symbolism represents the move of the individual from suburbia to the Sonoran Desert in Southern California. The build of entirely mirrors takes a suburban home intended to be filled with families and strips it to a simplistic, vacant place. In many ways, it showcases how a house is not a home.

Zach Lee

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