Richard Mosse

Richard Mosse

Irish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Richard Mosse, The Enclave (still), 2012. 16mm color infrared film transferred to HD video.*

May 23, 2013

Richard Mosse
The Enclave
1 June–24 November, 2013

Vernissage: 29–31 May
Press conference and official opening: 30 May, 4:30pm (registration required)

Fondaco Marcello
San Marco 3415 (Calle dei Garzoni)
30124 Venezia

Richard Mosse represents Ireland with The Enclave, a major new multimedia installation at the 55th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. The Commissioner and Curator is Anna O’Sullivan, Director of the Butler Gallery, Kilkenny, Ireland. Ireland at Venice is an initiative of Culture Ireland in partnership with the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.

Throughout 2012, Richard Mosse and his collaborators Trevor Tweeten (cinematographer and editor) and Ben Frost (composer and sound designer) travelled in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, infiltrating armed rebel groups in a war zone plagued by frequent ambushes, massacres and systematic sexual violence. The resulting installation, The Enclave, is the culmination of Mosse’s attempt to rethink war photography. It is a search for more adequate strategies to represent a forgotten African tragedy in which, according to the International Rescue Committee, at least 5.4 million people have died of war-related causes in eastern Congo since 1998.

A long-standing power vacuum in eastern Congo has resulted in a horrifying cycle of violence, a Hobbesian ‘state of war,’ so brutal and complex that it resists communication, and goes unseen in the global consciousness. Mosse brings a discontinued military surveillance film to this situation, representing an intangible conflict with a medium that registers an invisible spectrum of infrared light, and was originally designed for camouflage detection. The resulting imagery, shot on 16mm infrared film by cinematographer Trevor Tweeten, renders the jungle war zone in a disorienting psychedelic palette. Ben Frost’s ambient audio composition, comprised entirely of recordings gathered in the field in eastern DRC, hovers bleakly over the unfolding tragedy.

The Enclave immerses the viewer in a challenging and sinister world, exploring aesthetics in a situation of profound human suffering. At the heart of the project, as Mosse states, is an attempt to bring “two counter-worlds into collision: art’s potential to represent narratives so painful that they exist beyond language, and photography’s capacity to document specific tragedies and communicate them to the world.”

About Richard Mosse
Richard Mosse’s (b. 1980, Kilkenny, Ireland) practice resides at the intersection between documentary photography and contemporary art. His work has been exhibited at the Akademie der Künste, Berlin; Barbican Art Gallery, London; Bass Museum, Miami; Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City; Kunsthaus Munich; Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Open Eye Liverpool; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Mosse has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Performing and Visual Arts, and a Visual Arts Bursary from the Arts Council of Ireland. Mosse holds an MFA in photography from Yale University and a postgraduate diploma in fine art from Goldsmiths College, London. He also holds a first class BA in English literature from King’s College London and an MA in cultural studies from the London Consortium (ICA, AA, Tate, Birkbeck). Aperture Foundation and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting co-published his first monograph, Infra, in 2012. Mosse is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

A new publication titled The Enclave, with an essay by Jason Stearns, will be published by Aperture Foundation to coincide with this exhibition.

Media contacts
For more information, images or to arrange interviews, please contact
Elizabeth Reina-Longoria or Deirdre Maher
Blue Medium
T +1 (212) 675-1800
elizabeth [​at​] / deirdre [​at​]

Pavilion of Ireland Office contact
ireland.venicebiennale2013 [​at​]

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*Richard Mosse, The Enclave (still), 2012. 16mm color infrared film transferred to HD video. Filmed in Eastern Congo. Citizens of the city of Goma crowd around the corpses of soldiers from the Congolese national army (FARDC) killed defending the city from the M23 rebel advance. M23 rebels took control of Goma on 19th November 2012.

Irish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale: Richard Mosse
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Irish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
May 23, 2013

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