Richard Mosse has developed a body of photographic work that is at once charged with political and ethical implications and unabashedly aesthetic. Mosse has documented refugee camps in Greece and the Middle East, the invasion of Iraq, the deforestation of the Amazon, and in the selection presented here, the war in North Kivu (Democratic Republic of the Congo). Because of the latent conflict, it is estimated that there have been nearly 5 million casualties in Congo since 1996, more from the consequences of war such as epidemics, famine, and retaliation than from acts of war. Infra, the title of the series made between 2010 and 2015, was shot with Aerochrome infrared film, developed by the U.S. Army in the 1940s to spot camouflaged soldiers. Mosse’s lens follows the clichés of war photography and challenges the traditions, imperatives and responsibilities of documentary photography in an attempt to portray an endless, widespread and senseless conflict fought in the jungle by nomadic rebels, regular armies and UN forces. The corridor of Gallerie delle Prigioni becomes a tunnel where various views alternate, immersing the viewer in surreal landscapes, as in Beyond Here Lies Nothin or Come out (1966), or presenting the protagonists of this war, as in Dead Leaves and Sonic Youth where Mosse portrays a young rebel from the M23 group engaged in the battle of Goma, or finally as in Lost Fun Zone, taken in a refugee camp that housed 60,000 people a few weeks before it was cleared.
Richard Mosse (1980, Kilkenny, Ireland) lives and works in New York City. He studied photography at Yale, art at Goldsmith University in London, and English literature at King’s College London. In his work he documents the humanitarian and environmental crises of our times using the medium of photography to reflect on ethical and political issues. He has had monographic exhibitions at National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2022); Fondazione MAST, Bologna, Italy (2021); SFMOMA, San Francisco, USA (2019); Barbican Center, London, UK (2017); Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Germany (2016); Louisiana Museum, Humlebæk, Denmark (2015) and FOAM, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2014). His recent group exhibitions include shows at Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland (2019); Palazzo Querini, Venice, Italy (2019) and MMK Frankfurt, Germany (2018). He has won the Prix Pictet (2017) and the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize (2014), among other awards. He represented Ireland at the 55th Venice Art Biennale (2013). In 2011 he won the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship.