Photographers in Focus: Richard Mosse – NOWNESS

Irish filmmaker and photographer Richard Mosse first gained significant attention for his startling and surreal images of the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. These shots, some of which you can view below, used infrared film to transform trees, bushes, and flowers into a landscape of extraterrestrial unfamiliarity, bringing together—in compositions that are both beautiful and terrifying—the extremities of conflict. Throughout his career, the photographer has investigated not only war, but the fact of the human displacement caused by war. This has taken him from the Congo to the Balkans, and from the US-Mexican border to the shores of his native Europe.

The artist’s most recent work, such as 2017’s Incoming, appropriates a technology commonly used by the military and private security companies—heat-sensitive video cameras that depict, in black, white, and shades of grey, the scale and horror—in its banalities and brutalities—of the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe. A related series of gigantic composite photographs, which use the same technology, won him the Prix Pictet. Both projects were collaborations with cinematographer Trevor Tweeten and composer Ben Frost.

In this filmic portrait of a photographer whose work has consistently shed light on the human tragedies of the modern age, Korean-Polish filmmaker Adinah Dancyer places Mosse in front of the lens in order to explore not only his work, but the looming social issues which his images so compellingly address.

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