“Oops wrong planet” could be the surprised exclamation, half panic, half exhilaration, of anyone who suddenly gains startling insight into the true nature of the autistic condition — or the good- humored life motto of the stereotypical artist (in the traditional, romanticized conception of artisthood, that is): a literally spatialized, quasi-comic acknowledgment of maladjustment, of having ended up, not just in the wrong place, but in the wrong world.
This (admittedly fraught) comparison between autism and artisthood is not innocently or even arbitrarily chosen: Oops wrong planet is partly based on a real dialogue, in writing, between Anouk De Clercq and an autistic person (operating under the pseudonym of “Landschip”) — the ensuing correspondence was reprinted in the publication. At a certain point in the course of this correspondence, De Clercq and Landschip discover a shared passion for science fiction, and the hypnotic imagery of Oops wrong planet does indeed invoke immediate associations with a string of pictorial sci-fi staples: a gently undulating, moonlit landscape, marked by the same desolation that is a recurring feature of much of De Clercq’s previous films, the grainy pulse of cosmic white noise, the alternation of sharp and out-of-focus images that allude to approximation and approach as much as to distancing… In the end, tellingly, this so-called “wrong” planet does not look terribly frightful, hostile or inhospitable, but rather peaceful instead — positively inviting, in fact: a symbol, perhaps, of what Sigmund Freud called the “oceanic” feeling — a precious sensibility akin to a fitful sleep of reason. (Dieter Roelstraete)
This book is part of the work Oops wrong planet by Anouk De Clercq.
Authors Edwin Carels, Anouk De Clercq, Jan Knops, Landschip
Design Kasia Korczak & Boy Vereecken
Published by MER. Paper Kunsthalle
Produced by Initia & Auguste Orts
With the support of the Flemish Community