Richard Mosse



At a moment when the world is facing the world’s largest refugee and migration crisis since the Second World War, Incoming by Irish artist Richard Mosse deals with the major humanitarian and political plight of our time, the displacement of millions due to war, persecution and climate change. With illuminating texts by Mosse and the philosopher Giorgio Agamben, the 576-page book combines film stills from the artist’s latest video work made in collaboration with electronic composer Ben Frost and cinematographer Trevor Tweeten – a haunting and searing multi-channel film installation, accompanied by a visceral soundtrack. Journeys made by refugees and migrants across the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe are captured with a new weapons-grade surveillance technology that can detect the human body from 30.3km. Blind to skin colour, this camera technology registers only the contours of relative heat difference within a given scene, foregrounding the fragile human body’s struggle for survival in hostile environments.

Alluding literally and metaphorically to hypothermia, mortality, epidemic, global warming, weapons targeting, border surveillance, xenophobia, and the ‘bare life’ of stateless people, Mosse’s use of a military telephoto camera serves as an attempt to reveal its internal logic – to see the way missiles see. Following the narrative sequence of the film, the book presents still frames from footage of a live battle inside Syria in which a US aircraft strafes IS positions on the ground, to scenes showing refugees boarding rescue boats off the coast of Libya or gathered along the shores of Turkey under cover of darkness, or making the dangerous journey through the Sahara Desert, and the burning of the Jungle refugee camp. Like the film, the artist’s book bears witness to chapters in recent world events – mediated through weapons camera technology – while also shedding light on the ethical, technological, logistical and aesthetic issues involved in creating this major new work.

Richard Mosse was born in 1980 in Ireland. He earned an MFA in Photography from Yale University, a PG Dip in Fine Art from Goldsmiths, London, an MRes in Cultural Studies from the London Consortium, and a first class BA in English Literature from King’s College London. Mosse represented Ireland at the 55th Venice Biennale with The Enclave, for which he was awarded the Deutsche Borse Photography Prize (2014). A body of works related to INCOMING and titled Heat Maps won the 2017 Prix Pictet. He is also a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Leonore Annenberg Fellowship, the B3 Award from the Frankfurt Biennale, Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism, an ECAS Commission, a Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting publication grant, the Perspective Award, a Visual Arts Bursary from the Irish Arts Council, a Culture Ireland facilitation grant, the Künstlerhaus Bethanien Residency, and a residency at the International Artists Workshop in Ramallah. Mosse has exhibited widely. The list of museums that have shown his work include Barbican, SFMOMA, Louisiana Museum of Contemporary Art, the Nasher Museum, MIT, MCA, MoCP, Montreal Museum of Fine arts, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Portland Art Museum, Kunsthalle Munich, Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Palazzo Strozzi, Reykjavik Art Museum, Bass Museum, the Kemper, FOAM, the Photographers Gallery, Akademie der Künste Berlin, National Gallery of Victoria, and the University of New South Wales. He lives in New York City.

OTA-bound softback with metallic silkscreened cover and black painted edges
576 pages, 280 metallic tritone plates
17.5 x 19.7 cm

Publication date: February 2017
ISBN: 978-1-910164-77-8
€40 £35 $45

‘The best book of 2017‘ Artforum

‘Lyrical and vivid, harrowing and violent‘ Frieze

‘A serious body of work‘ BBC

‘A highly original, and chilling, view of the refugee crisis‘ Creative Review

'Remarkably poetic and often shocking‘ Artnet

‘Unsettling‘  The Financial Times

‘Mosse’s photographs consciously play into narratives that count families as statistics and stigmatize refugees as potential threats.‘ The New Yorker

‘These photographs reveal a harsh, ongoing struggle, showing the fragility of human life.‘ Wallpaper

‘Impressive‘ Ceil Variable

‘Shocking‘ The Times

‘Hauntingly beautiful‘ Forbes

‘[His photographs] present the horrors of the refugee crisis in a startlingly clear light‘ Suitcase Magazine

‘Mosse intends to confront and challenge the way in which Westerners, and our governments, represent, and therefore consider, the refugee‘ / ‘Mosse pretende enfrentarse y confrontar la forma en la que los occidentales, y nuestros gobiernos, representamos, y por tanto consideramos, al refugiado‘ El País

‘Striking‘ / ‘Saisissantes‘ Polka 

‘A fragmented, hallucinatory view of the refugee crisis in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.‘ Photograph

‘Mythique‘ / ‘mythical‘ Libération

‘Visually stunning‘ The Gryphon 

‘Mosse has chosen to exploit this technology to follow the journey of the migrants fleeing from the Middle East and North Africa to Europe‘ / ‘Mosse ha scelto di sfruttare questa tecnologia per seguire il viaggio dei migranti in fuga dal Medio Oriente e dall’Africa settentrionale verso l’Europa.‘ Internazionale

‘un lavoro senza pari‘ / ‘an unparallelled work‘ MW Magazine 

‘Una mostra e un libro fotografico di Richard Mosse raccontano cos'è, oggi, l'immigrazione.‘ / ‘An exhibition and photobook that tells what immigration is today‘ Style Magazine

‘[An] overwhelmingly beautiful, humanistic portrait‘ / ‘en følelse av avmakt, sympati og ikke minst medskyldighet‘ Morganbladet

‘[A] spectre of violence‘ Photoworks

‘Spooky images that allow a very different view of the action‘ / ‘Entstanden sind gespenstische Bilder, die einen ganz anderen Blick auf das Geschehen zulassen.‘ Perlentaucher

‘Visceral‘ Artintern

‘Stark, monochrome images‘ Bloomberg

‘The results are almost closer to the nightmarish paintings of Hieronymus Bosch than the work of a documentary photographer.‘ New Scientist

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