The reflective pavilion, which has previously been installed in the desert near Palm Springs, currently sits in an Alpine meadow above Gstaad, Switzerland.
As people happen upon Mirage Gstaad they can approach it and even walk inside, where the mirrored walls frame windows and skylights.
“I saw Mirage as a human-scale lens that the viewer would enter into, and in the process, they would become the work,” said Aitken.
As the seasons change around it, the mirrors that cover Mirage House create a shifting display of scenery and sky.
“I am very interested in artworks that change continuously,” continued the artist. “Artworks that change with the landscape.”
During summer, the rooftop reflects the blue skies and the sides appear to blend in with the meadows.
From some angles, Mirage appears to be a part of nature, while from other vantage points kaleidoscopic juxtapositions occur when the underside of the eaves reflect wildflowers and grass right, next to the scudding clouds of the gables.
In winter, icicles hang from the pavilion and flakes of falling snow drift in through the skylights.
From sunrise to sunset, the changing light and weather are reflected in the surface of the pavilion. At night, lights from inside glow through faceted window shapes cut in the sides.
Aitken based the design of Mirage off of the ranch-style houses built in suburban California in the 1920s and 1930s.
The artist subtly adjusts the dimensions of Mirage to suit the different locations it is taken to, creating a work that he describes as “the sum of the landscape around it.”
Mirage was originally created in 2017 for the Desert X art festival in Coachella Valley. In 2018, another version of Mirage popped up inside a former state bank in Detroit as part of an exhibition by art gallery Library Street Collective.
Mirrors also cover the exterior of the foundation’s Luma Arles centre in France, a twisting reflective building designed by Frank Gehry.
Photography courtesy of the Luma Foundation.
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