Richard Mosse “The Enclave” at Louisiana museum
Two weeks ago, my mom came to visit, just for 2 days, in the middle of the week. So naturally, I jumped at the opportunity, took a day off, and took mom up to Humlebæk for a trip to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. I’ve written about Louisiana before, and it’s one of my favorite places for a little day trip out of the city. It’s just about 45min out of the city, either by regional train, or by car. I strongly suggest to take the route up Strandvejen – mom and I did that on the way back and were completely fascinated by all the amazing villas and mansions. We also discovered that, if you want to be part of the gang on Strandvejen, your house had better have some sort of tower!
Next to its permanent collection, Louisiana currently hosts an absolutely amazing photography exhibit by Irish conceptual documentary artist Richard Mosse. The exhibit is called “The Enclave” and is unlike any photo exhibition I’ve ever seen so far. The photographer wanted to document the civil war in the Congo, and his entire exhibit centers around the question
How do you communicate a war that has no center, a war where violence has become a permanent state stoked by fear and rumor, tribal conflict, superstition and corruption, a war that cannot be reduced to a clear-cut story?”
There are no images of bombed cities, as the people live in small, rural villages that, once destroyed, don’t leave much behind for the world to see. And in a world where war is on the daily news, we’ve become so accustomed to the images of violence that we’re nearly numb to them.
Richard Mosse’s approach is completely new, even though it uses old, even outdated material: a special military film called Kodak Aerochrome that reflects on the infrared particles in plants – originally used to detect soldiers in camouflage, as their clothing would not reflect in the same way. This film makes trees, plants and grass in a come out in bright pink tones, which creates stunning landscapes. You can read an interview with Mosse about the use of the film here.
But walking through the exhibit, you inadvertently get a very uneasy feeling at the stark contrast between the beautiful landscapes and the horrors that are only partially shown or entirely omitted, looming in the back of your head. Louisiana calls the exhibit “horrifying, highly moving, and disturbingly beautiful”, and I would agree.
It is a fascinating, thought-provoking installation, and I strongly recommend you to go visit. The exhibit, which consists of both photography and a very intense video installation, will be shown until May 25th. Entrance to Louisiana is DKK 110.
If you’d like to donate towards the relief of war victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo, take a look at these campaigns and organizations:
- Women for Women runs an educational program for women in the DR Congo, with the goal to enable them to lead better lives
- Raise Hope for Congo aims to build a network of activists that will advocate for the human rights of all Congolese citizens and work towards ending the ongoing conflict in eastern Congo – you can donate or engage on social media and in other campaigns to promote awareness
- Save the Children has a special program that focuses on child survival, protection, and education in the DR Congo