About the Commission: The Enclave

Irish Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale
May 20, 2013 6:09AM

The Enclave is a mythic conflation of many discrete rebel enclaves in Eastern Congo. During a period of two years Mosse and two collaborators inserted themselves as journalists within armed groups, who fight nomadically in a war zone plagued by frequent ambushes, massacres and systematic sexual violence. Film, photography, and sound recorded during these trips have been used in the production of the Venice project.

“I am beginning to perceive this vicious loop,” Mosse writes from Goma, “of subject and object. The camera provokes an involuntary unraveling, a mutual hijack of authorship and autonomy.” Neither scripted nor directed, Congolese rebels return the gaze of Mosse’s camera in a distinctly confrontational and accusatory manner. The camera seems to mesmerize and provoke everyone it encounters in The Enclave. This precarious face-off reveals an ambiguous defiance, vulnerability, and indictment.

At right, a young soldier from Mai Mai Yakutumba poses in Savannah at a secret location near Lake Tanganyika, South Kivu, Eastern Congo, 2012. Still from ‘The Enclave’, shot on 16mm color infrared film in Eastern Congo, by Richard Mosse, 2012.

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Irish Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale