Trevor Tweeten, John Holten, Ben Frost and Richard Mosse on the road to Kibabi, South Masisi, photo by Abdu Namula Jean Bedel, Nov 2012.
John Holten shields Richard Mosse from rain on the Sake to Kitchanga Road in North Kivu, Nov 2012. The following day, M23 rebels carried out three different strikes along this road. Photograph by Jean Petit, our lyrical driver.
The Enclave, production still, Richard Mosse (right) with Trevor Tweeten (left), inside the enclave held by General Janvier's APCLS rebels, March 2011, photo by Robert Shamwami.
The Enclave, production still, showing Trevor Tweeten (cinematographer) and John Holten (assistant) with M23 rebels in Virunga National Park, North Kivu, shortly before the battle for Goma in November 2012.
The Enclave, production still, Trevor Tweeten (cinematographer) shooting Arriflex 16mm camera mounted on Steadicam in South Masisi, Nov 2012.
The Pavilion of Ireland at the 55th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia
1 June 24 November, 2013
Richard Mosse will represent Ireland with The Enclave, a major new multi-media 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 and the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon. The Pavilion has received co-sponsorship from Eastern Congo Initiative and European Cities of Advanced Sound.
Throughout 2012, Richard Mosse and his collaborators Trevor Tweeten and Ben Frost 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.”
16mm infrared film transferred to HD video
39 minutes 25 seconds across six screens
Director / Producer: Richard Mosse
Cinematographer / Editor: Trevor Tweeten
Composer / Sound Designer: Ben Frost
Production Assistant: John Holten
Colourist: Jerome Thelia
16mm processing: Rocky Mountain Film Lab
16mm scanning: Metropolis Film Labs
Audio Visual Installation: Eidotech