Richard Mosse, "Platon," North Kivu, Eastern Congo, 2012. Digital c-print. Courtesy of the artist and
Jack Shainman Gallery.
Pavilion of Ireland
55th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia
San Marco 3415
(Calle dei Garzoni)
1 June – 24 November, 2013
Richard Mosse will represent Ireland with The Enclave, a major new multi-media installation at the 55th International Art Exhibition — La Biennale di Venezia. The Commissioner and Curator is Anna O’Sullivan, Director of the Butler Gallery, Kilkenny, Ireland. Ireland at Venice is an initiative of Culture Ireland and the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon. The Pavilion has received co-sponsorship from Eastern Congo Initiative and European Cities of Advanced Sound.
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.
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. 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.
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.”
Aperture Foundation is releasing a new 240 page monograph, with an essay by Jason Stearns, to coincide with the Biennale.
16mm infrared film transferred to HD video 39 minutes 25 seconds across six screens
Director / Producer: Richard Mosse Cinematographer / Editor: Trevor Tweeten Composer / Sound Designer: Ben Frost Production Assistant: John Holten Colourist: Jerome Thelia 16mm processing: Rocky Mountain Film Lab 16mm scanning: Metropolis Film Labs Audio Visual Installation: Eidotech
About the artist
Richard Mosse's (b. 1980, Ireland) work has been exhibited at the Akademie der Künste, Berlin; Barbican Art Gallery, London; Bass Museum, Miami; Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City; Kunsthaus Munich; Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Open Eye Liverpool; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). Mosse is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Performing and Visual Arts and a Visual Arts Bursary from the Irish Arts Council. He was recently a resident at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin. Mosse holds an MFA in photography from Yale University and a postgraduate diploma in fine art from Goldsmiths College, London. He also holds a first-class BA in English literature from King's College London and an MA in cultural studies from the London Consortium (ICA, AA, Tate, Birkbeck). Aperture Foundation and Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting co-published his first monograph, Infra. Mosse is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.
Elizabeth Reina-Longoria or Deirdre Maher at Blue Medium
T +1 212 675 1800
Pavilion Office contact