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'The Enclave': Discontinued military 16mm infrared film to show the calamities of a war zone by cinematographer Trevor Tweeten

6/02/2013 ISO 1200 Magazine 1 Comments

Throughout 2012, Richard Mosse and his collaborators Trevor Tweeten and Ben Frost travelled in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, infiltrating armed rebel groups in a war zone plagued by frequent ambushes, massacres and systematic sexual violence.

The resulting installation, The Enclave, is the culmination of Mosse’s attempt to rethink war photography. It is a search for more adequate strategies to represent a forgotten African tragedy in which, according to the International Rescue Committee, at least 5.4 million people have died of war-related causes in eastern Congo since 1998.

A long-standing power vacuum in eastern Congo has resulted in a horrifying cycle of violence, a Hobbesian ‘state of war’, so brutal and complex that it resists communication, and goes unseen in the global consciousness.

Trevor Tweeten (cinematographer) shooting Arriflex 16mm camera mounted on Steadicam in South Masisi, Nov 2012.

Mosse brings a discontinued military surveillance film to this situation, representing an intangible conflict with a medium that registers an invisible spectrum of infrared light, and was originally designed for camouflage detection.

The resulting imagery, shot on 16mm infrared film by cinematographer Trevor Tweeten, renders the jungle war zone in a disorienting psychedelic palette. Ben Frost’s ambient audio composition, comprised entirely of recordings gathered in the field in eastern DRC, hovers bleakly over the unfolding tragedy.

The Enclave immerses the viewer in a challenging and sinister world, exploring aesthetics in a situation of profound human suffering. At the heart of the project, as Mosse states, is an attempt to bring “two counter-worlds into collision: art’s potential to represent narratives so painful that they exist beyond language, and photography’s capacity to document specific tragedies and communicate them to the world.”

The camera:

Arriflex 16mm | More info

The infrared film:

The decision to use analogue infrared film refers to the specificity of that medium, its genesis as a military technology, its potential to reveal the invisible, and a host of other factors. Infra is concerned with that specificity, and a deeper understanding of the work does require the knowledge that these images are the result of a particular kind of film that is sensitive to infrared light. -saids Richard- (Interview by Joerg Colberg)

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bennici said...

aynone interested in more of this 16mm infrared film, please contact me. i am richard mosses supplier and have a bit of stock left.