July 3, 2019 - Kunstforeningen GL STRAND - Richard Mosse: Incoming
July 3, 2019

Kunstforeningen GL STRAND

Richard Mosse, Incoming, 2014-2017. © Richard Mosse. Courtesy of the artist, Carlier I Gebauser, Berlin, and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

Richard Mosse
July 5–September 15, 2019

Opening: July 4, 5–9pm

Kunstforeningen GL STRAND
Gammel Strand 48
1202 Copenhagen

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In the cross field between documentary and art, prize-winning artist and photographer, Richard Mosse challenges our perspective on conflict and disaster. His latest video Incoming—now on view at Kunstforeningen GL STRAND—bears witness to the migration crisis caused by war, persecution, poverty and climate change.

Richard Mosse (b. 1980 Ireland) has developed a body of work that is both unabashedly aesthetic whilst simultaneously fraught with political and ethical implications. Throughout his work, Mosse subverts weaponized photographic technologies, using them to confront the viewer and refresh documentary forms. His recent works, Incoming and The Castle, are made in response to the mass migration crisis unfolding across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, the largest displacement of people since the Second World War. Incoming, created in collaboration with composer Ben Frost and cinematographer Trevor Tweeten, documents the journeys of refugees into Europe, while The Castle documents the condition of the camps and staging sites in which they reside. Mosse has employed a military-grade thermographic surveillance camera that can detect human body heat from a distance of 30.3km, day or night.

Designed for long-range border enforcement, battlefield awareness, insurgent detection, as well as search and rescue, the technology of the camera is part of the military-humanitarian complex that forms the EU’s response to the mass migration crisis. Reading heat as both metaphor and index, this work does not attempt to represent the refugee crisis in a seemingly “transparent” or objective way. Instead it attempts to engage and confront the ways in which our governments and societies represent, and therefore regard, the refugee. Incoming is an attempt to use the camera against its intended purpose to create an immersive, humanist art form, allowing the viewer to meditate on the profoundly difficult and frequently tragic journeys of refugees through ideas of warmth, hypothermia, physical vulnerability, mortality, biopolitics, and the erosion of human rights.

Richard Mosse states about Incoming: "This idea of heat, imaging heat, which we hoped would speak sideways about human displacement resulting from climate change and global warming—it also spoke more practically, even indexically, about the struggle of the refugee. Refugees literally leave the heat behind them, exposing themselves to the elements, the cold sea waves, the winter rain and the snow. Homes are replaced with tents and shelters. People die of exposure.

Light is visible heat. Light fades. Heat grows cold. People’s attention drifts. Media attention dwindles. Compassion is eventually exhausted. How do we find a way, as photographers and as storytellers, to continue to shed light on the refugee crisis, and to keep the heat on these urgent narratives of human displacement?”

The exhibition Incoming will be shown at Kunstforeningen GL STRAND from July 5 to September 15, 2019. The opening will take place on July 4 at 5-9pm and is open for everyone. 

About Richard Mosse
For a number of years, the Irish artist Richard Mosse has worked in conflict-ridden parts of the world, exploring how photo and video can communicate overlooked problems of a complex nature. He was awarded the prestigious Prix Pictet for his heat maps photographs and received several awards, including the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, for the extensive work The Enclave (2013), where he used Kodak’s Aerochrome film technology to document the age-long and bloody conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Richard Mosse lives and works in New York and Ireland. He holds an MFA from Yale School of Art (2008), a Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art from Goldsmiths, University of London (2005), a Masters in Cultural Studies from London Consortium (2003), and a Bachelors in English Literature from King’s College London (2001). He has exhibited in leading museums throughout the world. In 2013 he was Ireland’s representative at the Venice Biennale.

Kunstforeningen GL STRAND
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