MIRAGE is a camera obscura (Camera = room, Obscura = Dark) placed in a hunting tower that the audience is welcome to enter. Inside – a projection from the outside. The outside – covered with mirrors that create an illusion of transparency while reflecting the surrounding space and creating a camouflage. The images in the camera and the images in the mirrors offer different perspectives of the same landscape.

MIRAGE is placed in a “man-made” forest, planned and constructed in detail, monitored and observed for decades. The villages around Ängelholm fought desperately against flying sand that destroyed both harvests and communities, the sand that they themselves had unleashed through former hard forestry and agriculture. In order to overcome erosion, experts were taken to get grass and forest to grow again and keep the sand in place. Carl von Linné, one of the observers, described how the villages built fences to create barriers where the sand would get caught and then cultivated with grass. The barriers are clearly visible in the landscape today. The hard work that took over 100 years also resulted in the need to monitor and protect the fragile plantations. Therefore, various posts were built around the woods to which guardians moved in with their families. MIRAGE, located at a privately owned clear-cut in this forest, is a reminder of the monitored and fragile forest.

The Hunting Tower, which is also a place of surveillance where you get higher up to see. To see without being seen. The camera in a hunting tower, built into mirrors, reflects the surroundings and hides itself. Mirrors have often been used in art to create optical illusions and as a tool for seeing things from other perspectives.

The camera preserves still images of time, but without photo paper, it only preserves the present, nothing else. The light coming into the camera reminds us how time and space are moved through the light. Images transported, at the speed of light, allow all times and places to exist simultaneously in the universe. Therefore, in MIRAGE, time and space are fluid. Linné‘s observation of the site is happening right now, somewhere, through the images in the light.

The title MIRAGE also refers to an optical light phenomenon with the same name where an image of an object is revealed in a different location than its real position. The optical phenomenon Mirage is not only in our minds, it is something that can be photographed.

In MIRAGE there is also an performative part where the audience is invited to activate the landscape in front of the camera. A box filled with cards hangs at the camera’s entrance where the audience can chose one of them. On the card is a suggestion of how to interact as an audience with the place, you are invited to an embodied reflection by being in the on going process of the landscapes’ formation in the present.

MIRAGE is a part of the project (X)Sites Kattegattleden

Produced by Konstnärscentrum Väst