Richard Mosse to represent Ireland at Venice Biennale 2013
Ireland’s representative at the Venice Art Biennale 2013, the world’s foremost art event, will be Richard Mosse.
Mosse was selected after an open call for submissions by Anna O’Sullivan, director of the Butler Gallery in Kilkenny, and Ireland’s Commissioner/Curator for Venice 2013. For the Biennale, Mosse will present a “highly ambitious eight-channel multimedia installation on the subject of the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo”.
Mosse has been getting a lot of attention internationally for Infra, his photo book on the conflict in eastern Congo. In it, Mosse uses Kodak Aerochrome film to photograph the landscape and those involved in the conflict. The infrared film was originally intended for military surveillance, but in Mosse’s hands it delivers spectacular blocks of colour, rich in pinks and reds. The effect, according to Aidan Dunne, this newspaper’s Art Critic, is to “undo the camouflage of the familiar by defamiliarising our perceptions of African conflict, throwing us into an hallucinogenic, surreal world that in some respects recalls Francis Ford Coppola’s film Apocalypse Now”.
In a recent article, Mosse told Popular Photography: “I was interested in [the film’s] original purpose as a military tool, but I was also drawn to its peculiar color palette. I wanted to use it as a way of thinking through this conflict and the rules and conventions of war photography.”
“At Venice, Richard will push this work into a strong, immersive multimedia environment,” said O’Sullivan. “I am thrilled for Richard, who I know will rise to the challenge of this important opportunity, and will create an extremely original installation that will represent Ireland powerfully on the international stage.”