Fondazione MAST presents Richard Mosse’s first retrospective exhibition: ‘Displaced’

Fondazione MAST is delighted to present Displaced, the first retrospective exhibition of artist Richard Mosse. Curated by Urs Stahel, the exhibition presents a wide selection of the Irish photographer’s work, exploring the boundaries between documentary photography and contemporary art through the motifs of Migration, Conflict and Climate Change.

On display are 77 large format photographs including Mosse’s most recent work, taken from the series Tristes Tropiques (2020), which was shot in the Brazilian Amazon. In addition to these extraordinary images, the exhibition also features two large-scale immersive video installations, The Enclave (2013) and Incoming (2017), a large 16-channel video wall Grid (Moria) (2017) and the video Quick (2010). 
Displaced includes works from: 

Early works – Shot in Bosnia, Kosovo, the Gaza Strip and at the border between Mexico and the United States in the 2000s, Mosse’s early works document war zones in the aftermath of events: they do not show the conflict itself, the battle, the crossing of the border, but the world following the catastrophe. These are emblematic images of destruction, defeat and the collapse of systems. 

Infra and The Enclave – Between 2010 and 2015, Mosse travelled to the eastern region of North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a place marked by continuous war and unprecedented humanitarian disaster. For Infra, Mosse uses a Kodak Aerochrome, a discontinued infrared-sensitive military reconnaissance film developed to locate camouflaged subjects. Mosse “makes the invisible visible” and transforms the lush Congolese rainforest into a beautiful surreal landscape in shades of pink and red. Infra showcases majestic landscapes, scenes with rebels, civilians and soldiers, as well as huts used for shelter from perpetual conflicts. A sister project of InfraThe Enclave is a six-part video that reveals the contrast between the magnificent nature of the forest in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the violence faced by soldiers and rebels.  

Heat Maps and Incoming – From 2014 to 2018 Mosse focused on mass migration and the tensions caused by the dichotomy between open and closed borders, compassion and rejection, culture of welcome and repatriation. During these years, he visited various refugee camps across the world, in Greece, Lebanon and Turkey among others. For the photographic series Heat Maps, Mosse uses a thermal imaging camera to record heat differences in the infrared range: this is a military technique that enables to see human figures up to a distance of thirty kilometres, day or night.

At first glance, the images are sharp and precise; on closer inspection, however, no details can be discerned but only abstractions. People and objects are only recognisable as types, and not in their individuality. Incoming (2017) is an audiovisual installation that uses the same technology employed for Heat Maps, infrared thermography. Divided in three parts, Incoming depicts different scenarios, one involving the preparations for the take-off of military jets engaged in operations to control the skies over the Mediterranean, the other showcasing migrants arriving on overcrowded boats, and the last one portraying migrants housed in refugee camps. The 2017 video wall Grid (Moria) was shot inside the Greek Moria refugee camp, known for its poor conditions, with infrared thermography. The video wall is composed of 16 screens displaying the same clip at different intervals.

Ultra and Tristes Tropiques – Between 2018 and 2019, Mosse began to explore the South American rainforest where, for the first time, he focused his lens on the macro and the micro, shifting his research interest from human conflicts to nature. In Ultra, using a UV fluorescence technique, Mosse scrutinises the undergrowth, lichens, mosses, orchids and carnivorous plants alike, showing the wealth that we risk losing to climate change and human intervention. Also shot in the Brazilian rainforest, Mosse’s latest work Tristes Tropiques documents the destruction of the ecosystem by mankind with the precision of satellite technology. The 2010 video, Quick, is a film shot by Mosse reconstructing the genesis of his research and artistic practice through themes dear to him, such as the circulation of the Ebola virus, quarantine and isolation, conflicts and migrations, moving between Malaysia and Eastern Congo.


Dates: May 7, 2021 – September 19, 2021Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 10AM-8PM

Free Admission by booking only Fondazione MAST (Via Speranza, 42 – Bologna, IT 40133)

Further information can be found at: