House of Mirrors
Written by Sarah List
Hands up if you’ve heard of mirror mazes at carnivals, but you’ve never been to one? That was me too. They occupy a kind of place in the folklore of Americana, usually housing some kind of killer clown or spook that emerges from the glass. Mirrors are synonymous with all kinds of creepy folklore, so if you’re superstitious the House of Mirrors might be your terror Everest.
This House of Mirrors is an Australian creation of Christian Wagstaff and Keith Courtney, who combine their creative and engineering talents to create thoughtful, immersive experiences. Several are in a labyrinth style, but they are also renowned for the shock factor crucifix installation that appeared at a recent Dark Mofo event. The House of Mirrors installation has seen over 300,000 visitors choose to bend their sense of perception all across the country, and returns to the Garden of Unearthly Delights after a sold out season in 2018.
So what can you expect? It may depend a little on the time of day you go. When we ventured in, it was a media event so the relatively sparse number of people left me quite disoriented as I tried to work out which direction my buddy was in. You’re told to avoid touching the glass, so tracing your way through with the assistance of touch is not on the table. It was quite disorienting and disconcerting seeing infinite distance and angles of yourself in every direction. If you go during a busy session, it’s going to feel like a living, moving Where’s Wally with thousands of repeating images of the people around you, confusing all reference points. If the young local Adelaide gents decide to all dig out their ‘festival shirt’ (some of you will get the reference) and pile into the exhibit at once, you may never make your way out with your sanity intact.
House of Mirrors is a must do at the Fringe. Book ahead with a group and give yourself at least 30 mins to pick your way through, depending on your sense of direction. The blackness of night would be even more challenging.