Planet Venus: probing, dreaming, knowing, is a painting installation and artist talk that invites us to reimagine the evening star as a whole planet.

Planet Venus: probing, dreaming, knowing was commissioned for the LASER Paris event "Planetary portraits", curated by Annick Bureaud and Carine Le Malet, at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France on 30 March 2023, as part of the More-than-Planet international art and space science project, funded by European Union’s Creative Europe programme.

Installation & Talk

Venus is a strange place! It rotates in the opposite direction to all the others in our Solar System. It is central to the creation mythologies of nearly every known civilization on our own planet. It is also the only planet that is devoted to women and female mythological figures, attributed to Venus since 1979 when the international astronomical union decided that all the topographical features of Venus should be named after feminine entities. 

Because it resembles Earth in size, composition and shape, it was popularized as our "sister" planet, and a potentially habitable, paradisiacal place. It was also the focus of the first space missions. After the first radar data was returned from missions in the 1960s showing its conditions were more like hell, Venus was recast as an evil twin.

In the dual form of a painting installation and talk, Planet Venus: probing, dreaming, knowing invites us to reimagine Venus in this double dimension: our twin planet which could teach us things about the Earth and about ourselves, and a strange world populated by women that encapsulates how we as Earthlings regard unknown civilisations.

Planet Venus: probing, dreaming, knowing, installation views, 2023. Photos: Lily Hibberd

Cosmos Projects