KILKENNY man Richard Mosse has brought huge honour on the county after being chosen as Ireland’s representative for the Venice Art Biennale 2013, the world’s foremost art event writes Sean Keane. The youngest of two sons of Nicholas and Susan Mosse, Bennettsbridge, he will be accompanied at the prestigious event by Anna O’Sullivan of the Butler Gallery, Kilkenny Castle who will be the Irish commissioner/curator at the Italian celebration of art whch is being supported by the Arts Council and Culture Ireland.
Richard will present a highly ambitious eight-channel multimedia installation on the subject of the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Richard has been getting a lot of attention internationally for “Infra”, his photo book on the conflict in Eastern Congo. In it, Mosse uses Kodak Aerochrome film to photograph the landscape and those involved in the conflict. The infrared film was originally intended for military surveillance, but in Mosse’s hands it delivers spectacular blocks of colour, rich in pinks and reds. The effect, according to Aidan Dunne, the Irish Times Art Critic, is to; “undo the camouflage of the familiar by defamiliarising our perceptions of African conflict, throwing us into an hallucinogenic, surreal world that in some respects recalls Francis Ford Coppola’s film Apocalypse Now.”
Commenting on his selection, Anna O’Sullivan said that at Venice, Richard will push his work into a strong, immersive multimedia environment. “I am thrilled for Richard, who I know will rise to the challenge of this important opportunity and will create an extremely original installation that will represent Ireland powerfully on the international stage,” Anna said.
Orlaith McBride, Director of the Arts Council said: “Once again we are proud to be supporting Ireland’s representation at the Venice Biennale 2013. We believe that this artist and commissioner/curator will deliver a world class presentation and ensure that Ireland’s representation will be at the forefront of international visual arts practice. We wish the team the very best with their preparations”.
Christine Sisk, CEO of Culture Ireland said: “The Venice Biennale remains the foremost showcase for visual arts in the world. It was wonderful to see the strong response to the open selection call, which reflects the range and level of experience in the visual arts sector in Ireland”.
Commenting on the selection, Anna O’Sullivan explained: “Richard is an outstanding choice to represent Ireland at the Venice Biennale 2013.He has already gained international recognition, especially for his ongoing work, Infra. At Venice, Richard will push this work into a strong, immersive multimedia environment. I am thrilled for Richard, who I know will rise to the challenge of this important opportunity, and will create an extremely original installation that will represent Ireland powerfully on the international stage”.
In a recent article, Mosse told Popular Photography: “I was interested in [the film’s] original purpose as a military tool, but I was also drawn to its peculiar color palette. I wanted to use it as a way of thinking through this conflict and the rules and conventions of war photography.”