Richard Mosse: Incoming and Grid (Moria), June 2021

The Butler Gallery in partnership with Kilkenny Arts Festival present the Irish premiere of

Richard Mosse
Incoming and Grid (Moria)

Butler Gallery, Evans’ Home, Kilkenny

as part of Brightening Air | Coiscéim Coiligh

Grid (Moria), from 11th-20th June, from 11am – 12am (Midnight)
Incoming, from 11th June – 29th August

The Butler Gallery in partnership with Kilkenny Arts Festival is delighted to present the Irish premiere of two acclaimed installations by the award-winning Kilkenny-born artist Richard Mosse, as part of Brightening Air | Coiscéim Coiligh, a nationwide, ten-day season of arts experiences brought to you by the Arts Council.

Mosse’s work documents the tragedies of our times. His video installations Incoming and Grid (Moria) were made in response to the ongoing migration crisis in the Mediterranean.

To make Incoming, Mosse employed a highly specialized surveillance camera designed for military use that captures images by detecting thermal radiation, including the heat of a human body, from more than eighteen miles away, day or night. The black, white, and grey tones register temperature rather than colour and visible light, exposing the intimate stories of these refugees while providing a veil of privacy, isolating the plight of individuals while rendering them emblematic of humanity. By subverting this weapons-grade technology, intended for border enforcement and to track insurgents, Mosse hoped to reveal the "harsh, disparate, unpredictable, and frequently tragic narratives of migration and displacement."

Made in collaboration with composer Ben Frost and cinematographer Trevor Tweeten, and filmed in six countries across three continents, Incoming is a highly immersive experience. Mosse presents viewers with the sights and sounds of a contemporary crisis: warm handprints lingering on hypothermic bodies, desperate cries and heroic efforts, prayers amidst chaos and mass confusion. Together these elements create an unsettling yet mesmerizing experience that aims, in Mosse's words, “to implicate the viewer within the work’s gaze, to force the viewer to confront their own participation on many levels.”

Incoming will be exhibited in the double-height Main Gallery at Evans’ Home (itself once an almshouse, the refuge of its day) and Grid (Moria) – a 16-channel installation will be mounted in the grounds of Evans’ Home.

Utilising the same military-grade thermal camera, Grid (Moria) turns its gaze on the notorious site of Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. The camp of Moria was burned in protest in September 2020, leaving 13,000 asylum seekers without shelter. Grid (Moria), made in 2016-17, depicts densely planned provisional dwellings surrounded by razor wire fences, security gates and loudspeakers, evoking scenes from a concentration camp inhabited by asylum seekers, which the camera registers as thermal traces of radiant bodily warmth. Each screen plays back the same footage at different intervals, creating a visual equivalent of what is known in music as a ‘perpetual canon’.

With the world in turmoil, and the threat of further mass displacements to come, Mosse’s work asks timely, urgent questions about the ways in which the West tends to think, or not think, about refugees.

About the Artist

Richard Mosse (b. 1980, Kilkenny) lives and works in New York and Ireland. His first major survey exhibition, Displaced, is currently on show at MAST Foundation, Bologna. His work has been the subject of recent solo exhibitions at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, Barbican Art Gallery in London, and the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. Recent group exhibitions include Kunstmuseum Basel; ICA Boston; Minneapolis Institute of Art; Akademie der Kunst, Berlin; Hamburger Kunsthalle; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul; Denver Art Museum; Salaam Kivu International Film Festival, Goma; The Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. Mosse represented Ireland at the 55th Venice Art Biennale, curated by Anna O’Sullivan. He is a recipient of the Prix Pictet, the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Shifting Foundation Grant, the Yale Poynter Fellowship in Journalism, the Frankfurt Biennial B3 Award, a grant from the VIA Art Production Fund, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship and is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society. Mosse has published seven books. His latest monograph, The Castle, published by MACK, was selected as one of the New York Times Magazine top ten Photobooks of 2018. Mosse 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 Honours degree in English Literature from King’s College London.

BRIGHTENING AIR | COISCÉIM COILIGH

A ten day, nationwide season of arts experiences, Brightening Air | Coiscéim Coiligh brings together some of Ireland’s most exciting artists and arts organisations in a celebration of renewed optimism and brighter days ahead. The programme, with experiences both live in person and available to enjoy at home, runs from 11-20 June 2021 in all sorts of venues, casting a light from coast to coast and creating bright sparks of enjoyment throughout the country. For more information visit www.brighteningair.com

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