Exhibition: Richard Mosse ‘The Enclave’
LAST year Richard Mosse represented Ireland with ‘The Enclave’ at the Venice Biennale. After being shown in the RHA in Dublin his work has moved to Limerick as part of the City of Culture festival.
‘The Enclave’ is an immersive installation of two parts: Mosse’s large-scale landscape photographic work and the dark room of his video and sound piece. The difference between the two rooms is striking as the photographs place you at ease whilst the startling video piece unsettles and disturbs the mind.
The fantastical fuchsia landscapes and arresting pink film were not edited or photo-shopped. Mosse captured the Congo using a discontinued military film. Developed to make out camouflage, the Kodak Aerochrome registers an invisible spectrum of infrared light turning the green of plants to these bright magenta shades, which are both beautiful and eerie.
Mosse spent two years in the war zone of the Congo, capturing both the horrific violence and the normal everyday life of rebels. Standing in the dark exhibition space we are presented with shots of death and disturbing incoherent scenes of war as well as clips of mealtimes or children playing. But Mosse doesn’t differentiate between the two and they are presented together, emphasising the violent environment of the Congo become part of that normal life.
Without knowing the context behind the film, Mosse’s work seems confusing and a little overwhelming. I went in knowing nothing about the war and came out perturbed by what I saw. Through the startling, almost headache inducing pink, I felt a sense of claustrophobia. Something doesn’t feel right. With his representation of a divided war-torn country Mosse makes no judgement and does not choose sides. We are simply shown the confusing brutality of a people that are living and fighting for their homes juxtaposed with moments of true humanity, such as a video of a baby being born.
The work is intense, but in the best way possible. This is art that grabs you and leaves you feeling like you have seen something special, something that matters.
If the force of Mosse’s work is too much for you (and it can be overwhelming), maybe this is more your cup of tea. This is one of the more-light hearted of the tumblr photography blogs ‘Photographs Rendered in Playdoh’. If you can’t make it to see ‘The Enclave’ in Limerick, maybe try your hand at some creative pink playdoh scenes yourself. The salty smell should take you right back to your early days, a different kind of response to this work perhaps, but we all love a bit of nostalgia.
‘The Enclave’ will be exhibited in Ormston House, Patrick Street, Limerick until May 5.
Photos c/o doorofperception.com, veooz.com