Richard Mosse – The Enclave

Richard MosseImage courtesy of Richard Mosse and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Richard Mosse – The Enclave
21 March – 1 June 2014

Foam presents The Enclave by Richard Mosse, a major multi-media installation which represented Ireland at the 55th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. The installation, consisting of six large screens, represents the conflict situation in Congo and was shot with infrared film that was designed for camouflage detection resulting in vibrant, psychedelic magenta coloured sites of the jungle war zone. Besides the film installation, related photo works are shown.

Richard MosseImage courtesy of Richard Mosse and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Throughout 2012, Richard Mosse and his collaborators Trevor Tweeten and Ben Frost travelled in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, infiltrating armed rebel groups in a war zone plagued by frequent ambushes, massacres and systematic sexual violence. The resulting installation, The Enclave, is the culmination of Mosse’s attempt to rethink war photography. It is a search for more adequate strategies to represent a forgotten African tragedy in which, according to the International Rescue Committee, at least 5.4 million people have died of war-related causes in eastern Congo since 1998.

Richard MosseImage courtesy of Richard Mosse and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

A long-standing power vacuum in eastern Congo has resulted in a horrifying cycle of violence, a Hobbesian state of war, so brutal and complex that it resists communication, and goes unseen in the global consciousness. Mosse brings a discontinued military surveillance film to this situation, representing an intangible conflict with a medium that registers an invisible spectrum of infrared light, and was originally designed for camouflage detection.

Richard MosseImage courtesy of Richard Mosse and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

The resulting imagery, shot on 16mm infrared film by cinematographer Trevor Tweeten, renders the jungle war zone in a disorienting psychedelic palette. Ben Frost’s ambient audio composition, comprised entirely of recordings gathered in the field in eastern DRC, hovers bleakly over the unfolding tragedy.

Richard MosseImage courtesy of Richard Mosse and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

The Enclave immerses the viewer in a challenging and sinister world, exploring aesthetics in a situation of profound human suffering. At the heart of the project, as Mosse states, is an attempt to bring “two counter-worlds into collision: art’s potential to represent narratives so painful that they exist beyond language, and photography’s capacity to document specific tragedies and communicate them to the world.”

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