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Infra, Richard Mosse's first book, offers a radical rethinking of how to depict a conflict as complex and intractable as that of the ongoing war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mosse photographs both the rich topography, inscribed with the traces of conflicting interests, as well as rebel groups of constantly shifting allegiances at war with the Congolese national army (itself a patchwork of recently integrated warlords and their militias). For centuries, the Congo has repeatedly compelled and defied the western imagination. Mosse brings to this subject the use of a discontinued aerial surveillance film, a type of color infrared film called Kodak Aerochrome. The film, originally developed for military reconnaissance, registers an invisible spectrum of infrared light, rendering the green landscape in vivid hues of lavender, crimson and hot pink. The results offer a fevered inflation of the traditional reportage document, underlining the growing tension between art, fiction and photojournalism. Mosse's work highlights the ineffable nature of current events in today's Congo. Infra initiates a dialogue with photography that begins as an intoxicating meditation on a broken genre, but ends as a haunting elegy for a vividly beautiful land touched by unspeakable tragedy.
Following studies at the London Consortium and Goldsmiths College in London, Richard Mosse (born 1980) graduated from the Yale School of Art. He was awarded the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in 2008 and the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2011. His work has been featured on the pages of Aperture, Artforum, Art in America, Frieze and Modern Painters.