These images have been stuck in my brain since I saw them at the Louisiana Museum a couple of weekends ago. I know I haven’t done a Photography Friday post in a while but given that I still can’t stop thinking about these, I wanted to share them.
There are only a few images as part of the exhibit at the Louisiana, and I think part of what moved me so much is that when we rushed in, toddler and stroller and all, I kept waiting for the “pink pictures” as my daughter called them to come up. You have to admit that the color is striking.
But once you finally see them, and read the synopsis of the work, all of the sudden what was just a minute ago a beautiful color, turns into something a bit more haunting. Richard Mosse photographed civil conflict in the Congo (DRC), using older infrared military cameras.
Normally, these were supposed to have been used around the WWII era – the cameras color anything plant like in a varied shade of pink, which would allow those in camoflauge to be picked out. People quickly learned how to outsmart the camera and they fell out of use. Mosse uses them now to show that fine line between beauty and horror. In addition to the landscape, he takes photographs of the conflict, and those involved in it, which, as you can probably guess, means that there are way more young people featured than there should ever be.
There’s an accompanying video that goes along with the exhibit but its a difficult watch. As a parent, its guaranteed to break your heart. This was a conflict that barely received a media mention but Mosse’s images will be seared in my mind for a long, long time.
All photographs by Richard Mosse.