Yet, this is the colour tone (together with red) the author chooses to report a complex reality, exploring the boundary where the social, economic and political changes of recent decades clash. “By subverting visual conventions through new technologies, often of military type, he intends to unhinge the representative criteria of war photography”, curator Urs Stahel says.
Mosse has been involved in photography since the 2000s, working on the collapse of systems (Bosnia, Kosovo, Gaza Strip). With Infra and The Enclave, he documents the situation of the Democratic Republic of Congo, rich in mineral resources and marked by continuous wars.
He shoots with Kodak Aerochrome, a dismissed infrared-sensitive military reconnaissance film, developed to locate camouflaged subjects, and whose effect is to distort colours by covering the world with a pinch of pink.
Mass migration and border tensions are other core issues.
Mosse travels to refugee camps: for Heath Maps and Incoming, he uses a thermal imaging camera, that records “heath maps” instead of light. The images seem sharp and rich in contrast, but they are devoid of details, with people only recognisable as types, not in their individuality. Another “contradiction” that bewilders our habitual way of seeing, as in his recent images of nature.
In Ultra, the UV fluorescence technique makes the biodiversity of the South American rainforest, including orchids and carnivorous plants, an explosion of fluorescent colours.
And with multi-spectral orthographic photographs (also used in archaeology) and drones detecting the progress of fires and (illegal) mines of gold and minerals, in Tristes Tropiques Mosse documents the tragedy of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon.
From May 7th to September 19th, 2021 @ MAST Foundation
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