Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool is showing the UK premier of Richard Mosse’s Infra, alongside a seminal project by photographer Simon Norfolk, from 30 March to 10 June 2012. The gallery launches a new Wall Work commission by artist Emily Speed on the same date.
Richard Mosse’s Infra project uses obsolete military surveillance technology, a type of infrared colour film called Kodak Aerochrome, to investigate ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Originally created to detect targets for aerial bombing, Kodak Aerochrome film registered a spectrum of light beyond what the human eye can see, rendering foliage in vivid hues of lavender, crimson and hot pink.
On his journeys in eastern Congo between 2010-11, Mosse photographed rebel groups constantly switching allegiances, fighting nomadically in a jungle war zone plagued by frequent ambushes, massacres, and systematic sexual violence. These narratives urgently need telling but cannot be easily described.
Infra offers a radical rethinking of how to depict a conflict as complex as that of the ongoing war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The images initiate a dialogue with photography that begins as a meditation on a broken documentary genre, but ends as an elegy for a land touched by tragedy.
Richard Mosse was born in Ireland in 1980. He currently lives and works in New York.
He is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.