Modern art is always sensible to social changes, to everything that occurs around. A migrant crisis is a thing that obviously cannot be hidden from photographer’s eye. In cooperation with electronic composer Ben Frost and cinematographer Trevor Tweeten, Richard Mosse created “Incoming”, a video installation about life paths of refugees and migrants. 

Cutting edge technologies

For observing the migrants from long distances, Mosse used military thermal imaging camera, a device not so typical for art-making. This camera can detect a human body from 30km and identify an individual from 6.3km, – such features open unlimited spectrum of opportunities for Irish artist. “By using it to tell the refugee crisis, I’m putting viewers in a state of discomfort to disorient them”, – he explained his choice. Athough military equipment is constantly at the disposal of Army forces, Mosse successfully obtained it each time he went for observations – lawers helped him with all documents. The whole work done by author and his supporters was increasingly hard and emotiocally intensive:they recorded flows of migrants from Turkey to the Aegean islands, and from Niger through to refugee camps in Sicily and Monaco.

Incoming: Richard Mosse

“I am European. I am complicit. I wanted to foreground this perspective in a way, to try to see refugees and illegal immigrants as our governments see them. I wanted to enter into that logic in order to create an image that reveals it”, – Mosse clarified. Maybe it is a true goal of XXI century art – try to break the border of individual’s perseption, his identity and let him stand on the side of the Other, in sociological terms. What should be more challenging then that?

Incoming: Richard Mosse

Incoming: Richard Mosse

 

 The astonishing effect

Performed on 8 metre-wide screens, exposition is provided with visceral ambient soundtrack synthetic sound design, also recorded during fieldwork. What’s more about ambient – it seems to be an excellent decision, as far as such music is creepy, but enough quiet for producing an enigmatic athmosphere for audience. Usually people memorize art better if there is something scary and alarming. Through the video, we will witness and feel our common tragedy: how millions of people are struggling to cope with poverty and persecution. In spite of the war, they still believe in peace and freedom for their families and children in the future, they hope it will come sooner or later. “The camera carries a certain aesthetic violence, dehumanising the subject, portraying people in zombie form as monstrous, stripping the individual from the body and portraying a human as mere biological trace.”, – Mosse mentioned about Incoming“. 

Incoming: Richard Mosse

In monochrome colors, humans appear as ghostly figures, with sinister faces glowing as the camera takes a closer look at traces of sweat, saliva and moisture. Overcrowded boats, kilometres of tent camps, dirty and dilapidated shelters – we are all aware of it, watching TV and reading media sources, but the life is far more serious.

Incoming: Richard Mosse

 

The style of artist

Richard Mosse is widely famous for his approach in illustrating  burning political and social events of the epoche: in early projects “Infra”  and “The Enclave” he demonstrated the severe truth of war conflict in Democratic Republic of the Congo, while Western media practically kept silence about that. In this work, Mosse combined infrared radiation speed film, which gave pictures bright pink shade, and  his techniques of documentary photographer and jornalist, who need to determinant and patient, supressing emotions for a while. With this project, Moss represented Ireland in the 55th Venice Biennale, 2013. The B3 Award at the Frankfurt Biennial, a Guggenheim Fellowship and Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting grant are just a little part of the huge number of awards Mosse has won. In 2009, artist launched a series of pictures about Iraq and Gaza theatres of war, in 2004 he published photo-reports of nationalistic turmoil in Kosovo. This year in May, when the following Prix Pictet will be organized, Richard Mosse is in the shortlist of nominants.  

Incoming: Richard Mosse

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