I reviewed Richard Mosse’s “The Enclave” at the Portland Art Museum for Fraction Magazine.
Unlike his photojournalist colleagues, he’s using Kodak Aerochrome infrared film, which is the source of my ambivalence towards his oeuvre. This film renders greens as cotton candy pink. It was created by Kodak for military surveillance, to reveal things that would otherwise be hidden by dense vegetation. It’s a clever choice for a body of imagery that seeks to make the war in the DRC more visible, and the surreal, alien quality of the images echoes the surreal, alien reality of the war. The wide swaths of forest and soldier’s camouflage glowing like a science fiction movie grabs the viewer’s attention and draws them into the work, at which point they have to engage with the disturbing subject matter.
Head on over to Fraction to read the whole thing.