“Embarking upon the journey, I found myself challenged in many ways, not least because I had no knowledge of moving through this difficult land, and no experience of using this type of film. I was dealing with the unknown, negotiating my own ignorance.” Richard Mosse
The photographer Richard Mosse is well educated. His point of view combines accomplished experience in the world of academe and the tough-going work of photojournalism. He is also Irish and comes from a family of artists.
I remark on all this because as a photographer and artist Mosse brings another facet to his work that you don’t often see in documentary work. His new book Infra is a unique exploration into the political and environmental scene in the eastern Congo as it hangs on to a fragile truce.
These images, captured on large-format Kodak Aerochrome Film (designed for military aerial surveillance use) reveal an invisible spectrum of infrared light. And with that, an opportunity to reinterpret what we see, and what we think we know. The work is mesmerizing, gorgeous, and given the situation in the Congo, sometimes heartbreaking.
For a deeper explanation, Mosse discusses his technique in this video. And for those of you in New York, this Monday he will be speaking and signing copies of his book at an event held at Aperture.