Against all odds I can’t resist these images, though I am aware that is the process itself that draws me in.
“Ask Richard Mosse what first fascinated him about the Congo and he’ll give you a long list. “Joseph Conrad. Tin Tin. The Rumble in the Jungle. The Belgian colonial legacy. The beer. The Ebola virus. A country the size of Western Europe with less paved roads than Ireland. The ‘bulletproof’ Mai Mai warriors. A conflict so pathologised that it is well past the point of human comprehension.”
But it’s the latter reason that led the Irish-born photographer to use Kodak’s Aerochrome film. Discontinued last year, the film is particularly sensitive to infra-red light, rather than to the usual visible spectrum of colours registered by traditional film. Since foliage reflects infra-red while buildings don’t, the US Army used it during the Vietnam War to detect and reveal hidden soldiers. “I wanted to export this technology to a harder situation, to up-end the generic conventions of calcified mass-media narratives and challenge the way we’re allowed to represent this forgotten conflict,” says Mosse. “I wanted to confront this military reconnaissance technology, to use it reflexively in order to question the ways in which war photography is constructed.”
source: British Journal of Photography
Take a lok at Richard Mosse’s recent work in Congo with Aerochrome film, here