The Art of War

General Janvier

Richard Mosse’s surreal photographic series ‘Quick’ deftly induces its viewers into a mesmerizing state, a kind of dissonance, both viscerally pleasing yet inherently alarming. In a recent interview with The New Yorker, Mosse explains that he aimed “to shock the viewer with this surprising bubblegum palette, and provoke questions about how we tend to see and don’t see the ongoing conflict” in the African state of The Democratic Republic of The Congo. Perhaps, this piece should have been more aptly titled the War of Art, it could really have gone either way!

Nowhere To Run

Uncannily Mosse achieved this purple haze, far from your typical rose-tinted point of view using Kodak’s Aerochrome Infrared-Senstive Film; a product originally designed for military reconnaissance and camouflage detection. How more apt could the medium be for the message. The artist chose to reactivate the now defunct technology, creating a sociopolitical reconnaissance, though in this case the military figures captured therein are all too pleased to be captured in the sights of this lens.

(Courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery by Richard Mosse)


Richard Mosse, born 1980, is an Irish artist/photographer living an working in New York. Like Jackie Nickerson, whose project Farm, was previously reviewed here on Another Africa, he too is represented by New York-based Jack Shainman Gallery.

[Images via Jack Shainman Gallery and Richard Mosse]

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