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Enter Richard Mosse’s sea of images in The Enclave, his frightening and often uncomfortable video work about the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
As our society has become almost immune to the images of war, conflict and attacks on civilians and we are vaccinated with a perpetual stream of media broadcasts on a daily basis, Mosse’s combination of artistic documentary methods hits our consciousness with the horror we should be feeling.
At the heart of his work lies a search for what is ‘the impossible photograph’.
Mosse’s use of a special military surveillance film that transforms the green of the countryside into bubble gum pink lends his images a haunting impact as he documents a “vicious cycles of nightmare little wars ”.
Some 5.4 million people have lost their lives as a direct result of the conflict in the Congo since 1998, yet we don’t really hear that much about this ongoing humanitarian disaster – it would seem the Congo has become boring news.
Mosse’s images are shot on colour infrared film, which was used primarily for camouflage detection by US troops during WWII.
He wants to make the “unseen seen and the invisible visible”, which is a “metaphoric leap of course”, as he himself states in an interview with Frieze magazine.
Disorientated and often offended by the colour, viewers must carry the ethical burden of bearing witness to the war crimes.