War photographs are by definition haunting, but few are as mysterious and surreal as the ones taken in the Democratic Republic of Congo by Irish photographer Richard Mosse, part of his multi-year project documenting the conflict there. The pictures utilise an obsolete Kodak infrared film once used in the military to detect enemy camouflage, which in print renders ordinary greenery in hallucinatory, almost unearthly, shades of fuchsia. The resulting landscape appears contaminated, “marked” and rather menacing – part of a conscious strategy by Mosse to uncover traces of the country’s intractable and largely invisible violence.    

More recently, Mosse has made the leap to film with The Enclave, a multi-channel video, also shot on infrared, which multiplies the visceral impact of the photographs with hypnotic sound and editing. The Enclave was Ireland’s selection for the 2013 Venice Biennale; this year Mosse’s work was shortlisted for, and then went on to

This article appeared in 188 on June 2014. Buy here

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