pipes (color infrared). lathrop, ca. 2016. by eyetwist Via Flickr: mamiya 6MF 50mm f/4. film: medium-format kodak aerochrome EIR color infrared film with B+W 099 orange infracolor filter. lab: E6 processing @ the icon, los angeles, ca. scan: epson V750. exif tags: lenstagger.
My copy of Infra - Richard Mosse arrived today and i am thoroughly impressed by not just the images, but the simple essays accompanying a book that hasn’t been over designed but extremely well laid out; a welcome break from a large amount of photo books and zines in circulation currently.
The essay by Adam Hochschild, giving a brief history of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and its colonisation offers some great conclusions to the series of images. Its quite rare to see a book include an essay that is addressing the subject, rather than the photographs and critical theory. To finish things off there is an afterword by Mosse himself. This reads similar to a narration track on a movie, filling in the minor questions about the project. Its quite well documented that Mosse used Kodak Aerochrome for the project and this acted as a space to discuss the other aspects of the film choice, without the banality of the technical side of it.
Under the dust jacket, the hardcover of the book depicts a re-imagining of the DRC flag. The diagonal red has shifted to a magenta more alike the hues in the images, and the star has shifted from the left to the right. I’d like to think these subtle changes are a reflection of Mosse’s thoughts about the project.
I’d appreciate seeing many more books like this. Every diptych makes sense, every image size and position coherently ‘adds’ something. On first thoughts, i didn’t agree with the opening photograph, but after looking again, after reading the texts, it made perfect sense. There’s a small sequence of images i don’t particularly agree with in the book, but captions at the end of the book help, but its still problematic.
Highly recommend this book, not just to admire the project, but to study the book and understand how brilliant it is when there is a discourse between the format of the book, and the images within.
It’s very easy to fall in love with the special visuals resulting from using Kodak Aerochrome infrared film, but there’s a way deeper story that appeals in Daniel Zvereff’s series “Introspective” - if you have a chance, well worth a look.
FInally I got some yellow filters for my Hasselblad and last week end I took the first 4 shots with some aerochrome colour infrared. I never had the chance to shoot with this kind of film…I can’t wait to develop the first one and see the results. There aren’t many of this bad boys left around the world.
Richard Mosse’s Infra project uses obsolete military surveillance technology, a type of infrared colour film called Kodak Aerochrome, to investigate ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Originally created to detect targets for aerial bombing, Kodak Aerochrome film registered a spectrum of light beyond what the human eye can see, rendering foliage in vivid hues of lavender, crimson and hot pink.
On his journeys in eastern Congo between 2010-11, Mosse photographed rebel groups constantly switching allegiances, fighting nomadically in a jungle war zone plagued by frequent ambushes, massacres, and systematic sexual violence. These narratives urgently need telling but cannot be easily described.
Infra offers a radical rethinking of how to depict a conflict as complex as that of the ongoing war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The images initiate a dialogue with photography that begins as a meditation on a broken documentary genre, but ends as an elegy for a land touched by tragedy
This is the fourth roll of Aerochrome that I’m going to expose. The first 2 didn’t turned up that great because the lab where I went to process the films didn’t do a professional job. Finally I found a lab which is pretty expensive but that doesn’t make me waste my time, my money and my passion.