Large scale kaleidoscope

Large scale kaleidoscope

A Californian country house rises in the Swiss Alps; it is made of mirrors, to reflect the beauty of the landscape and the change of seasons.

The installation is called “Mirage Gstaad” and it is the third one of a series of works by artist Doug Aitken. The first one (2017) was placed in Palm Springs, California, and later moved to an old Detroit bank (2018). This time, it will remain in the Swiss mountains for two years so it can interact with the environment, in addition to being part of Elevation 1049: Frequencies, initiative that gathers international artists both visual and interpretative, to establish a dialogue between Mirage Gstaad’s semi-permanent structure and the ephemeral art of performance. Its opening had place from February 1st through the 3rd, 2019.  

The showing speaks about the way in which space and time are the measure of every landscape and in that way, the frequency carries that measure within its dual meanings. The speed in which something happens can be appreciated, also the number of times it repeats during a period of time. Aitken uses the frequency of light to reflect the Alpine landscape as part of the meeting point between the earth and the sky, the interior and exterior, the object and the subject, all things that are constantly changing.

Each surface in the house is lined with mirrors (both on the inside and the outside), through them, it absorbs and reflects the landscape, and so the exterior seems to disappear and the interior transforms into a kaleidoscope of light.

The artist is known for using a wide range of artistic approaches; time, space, and memory are flowing concepts that characterize his work. He has presented it at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Serpentine Gallery in London, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. He has also been recognized with the International Award at La Biennale di Venezia for his Electric Earth installation, the Nam June Paik Art Center Prize (2012), and the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award for his work in visual arts (2013).

This is the third edition of Elevation 1049: Frequencies, which has been in Gstaad since 2014 to help promote tourism.