When exploring the known universe, some might wonder what new planets we may discover, occupied or uninhabited. Two artists however, Wouter van Buuren and Zainab Hussain have created landscape photographs that turn our own cities into planets, with a Little Prince-esque aesthetic.
The planet-like compositions of van Buuren look like Super Mario Galaxy levels come to life, combining all visible forms into a perfect spherical shape. What was once the downtown core of one city (such as Weert or Shanghai) now becomes its own planet. This composition connotes ideas of our homes being the centre of the universe, where, like the Little Prince, these constructed worlds become our little asteroid or planet on which we live and experience.
Zainab Hussain however, creates more specific planets, such as “West Chapters Planet” (2012), which, according to the artist’s statement, explores “the strip mall environment in suburban areas and our relationship with it”. The artist also plays with the idea of these little worlds, being “first worlds”, existing only to provide convenience. Moving from van Buuren’s urban planets, into Hussain’s suburban planets, the mapping of cities and outlying areas plays on the ideas of comfort and convenience, engulfing us. Apart from planets, the artist has also created holes, inverse images of her planets, acting like voids which suck in all that surrounds them, such as “South Cineplex Hole” (2012). Now, what used to be 360 degrees of familiar comfort becomes 360 degrees of overwhelming commodity.