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Throughout 2012, Irish photographer Richard Mosse and his collaborators, Trevor Tweeten and Ben Frost, traveled the Democratic Republic of Congo, taking video and photographs of rebel groups with Kodak Aerochrome film. Developed for the military in the 1940s, the infrared film captures greens in shades of pink and red and became popular in the psychedelic culture of the 1960s.

The resulting photographs, currently installed in Ireland’s exhibition at the Venice Biennale and available from Aperture as a book and a limited edition box set, constitute a series that rethinks the tension between a photograph’s violent or disturbing content and its aesthetic virtue. As noted at a discussion at New York-based art collective Triple Canopy, “Mosse makes vivid how cruelty can be sublime and violence can ravage or remake a landscape in ways we may politically detest but also find visually arresting, even beautiful.

Lac Vert, 2012, from The Enclave (Aperture, 2013).

A Dream That Can Last, 2012, from The Enclave (Aperture, 2013).

Heartbreak Hotel, 2012, from The Enclave (Aperture, 2013).

Suspicious Minds, 2012, from The Enclave (Aperture, 2013).

Only Love Can Break Your Heart, 2012, from The Enclave (Aperture, 2013).

Tombstone Blues, 2012, from The Enclave (Aperture, 2013).

Platon, 2012, from The Enclave (Aperture, 2013).

Safe From Harm, 2012, from The Enclave (Aperture, 2013).

Of Lillies and Remains, 2012, from The Enclave (Aperture, 2013).

Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams, 2012, from The Enclave (Aperture, 2013).


Film and all photographs are © Richard Mosse