Richard Mosse. The Enclave, a war photo-documentary

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After launching The Enclave, a revolutionary documentary on the ongoing war in Congo, during the Venice Art Biennale in 2013, the Irish artist Richard Mosse created the book Infra, a new approach on depicting the brutal scene of the Congolese civil warfare.

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The artist launches now a special edition of his monograph Infra available in only 500 copies, featuring a specially designed cover and an essay signed by the prestigious Adam Hochschild.

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The Enclave is a breathtaking documentary that interlaces the atrocious acts of violence and the agony of the victims with the pristine beauty of a country that is worthy of a better destiny.

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The key of Mosse’s portrayal of the events lays in the usage of a color infrared film called Kodak Aerochrome, a technique employed long time ago by the military scouts. The effect of the Aerochrome is that it renders all the green shades in violent hues of crimson, emphasizing the twisted behavior of humans and pioneering the artificial factor in the tradition of photojournalism.

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Along with the haunting soundtrack created by Ben Frost, the Australian-born, Iceland-based composer, the documentary The Enclave demonstrates that war journalism can express more than what we are used to. It can intoxicate with it kitschy synthetic hues of pink and provoke our consciousness to meditate on what a human is able to do when is given the opportunity of having power over others.

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“In some respects, my work in Congo has been a parody of photojournalism, an attempt to question that belief system. But I was also sick of myself, of my monumental approach. My images were so hyper-focal, big, and masculine. I wanted to subvert myself, ultimately. That’s one of the reasons why I chose to use this pink, kitschy aesthetic, because I realized that war photography is an essentially macho thing. I wanted to do it in such a way that’s feminized. It was really an assault on my own comfort zone. And through that, you start to bring yourself into the unknown,” said Mosse in an article featured in the Fall 2014 issue of Electronic Beats Magazine.

The work of Richard Mosse has been exhibited in the most prestigious galleries and contemporary art museums as Palais de Tokyo or Tate Modern.

Photo credits: Richard Mosse

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