Lonely Planet Writer

Artist creates stunning mirrored house installation in the Coachella Desert Valley

An artist has created a captivating installation in the Coachella desert in the form of a completely mirrored house that catches the light and reflects the beauty of the surrounding landscape.

Desert X
Desert X installation view of Doug Aitken’s, Mirage. Image by Lance Gerber
The installation is designed in a California ranch style suburban house.
The installation is designed in a California ranch style suburban house. Image by Andrew Pielage
Desert X
The piece was inspired by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. Image by Lance Gerber

Created by Doug Aitken, the piece is called “Mirage” and is a site-specific sculpture composed of reflective surfaces that clad a California ranch-style suburban house. Acting as a life-sized kaleidoscope, the building reflects and disappears into the skyline and terrain of the valley around it. The piece was inspired by the ideas of the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, whose belief was that architecture should be both in and of the landscape. Situated at the juncture where the San Jacinto mountain range gives way to the valley, Mirage is perched over a distant modern development that fades into the desert.

Desert X
A view of the house reflecting the surroundings. Image by Lance Gerber

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The piece is on view as part of Desert X, a contemporary art exhibition running until 30 April. The project features other dynamic pieces, including “Hearth” by Lita Albuquerque, who created a life-sized resin cast of a female form painted in blue and surrounded by white sane, with speakers placed around the area that play selected audio. It also includes a series of billboards along the Gene Autry Trail that align perfectly with the horizon in the background and is designed to be viewed from a moving car.

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“The desert is the blank canvas upon which contemporary artists, like writers, architects, musicians and others before them, will be invited to project their vision and to create from the extraordinary natural and social history around them. It takes the landscape itself as its exhibition space,” said Neville Wakefield, Artistic Director of Desert X. While the Desert X exhibition finishes in April, Mirage will stay erected until the end of October. More information on visiting the exhibition is available on the Desert X website.

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