The Portland Art Museum has announced that it will be the first U.S. Museum to present Richard Mosse’s powerful video installation The Enclave (2013). The work, which premiered at the 2013 Venice Biennale in the Irish Pavilion, will open on November 8 and run through February 8, 2015. Several of his monumental photographs from the Democratic Republic of Congo will also be on display.
The Enclave was produced using a recently discontinued military film technology originally designed in World War II to reveal camouflaged installations hidden in the landscape. This film registers an invisible spectrum of infrared light, rendering the green landscape in vivid hues of lavender, crimson, and hot pink. On the threshold of the medium’s extinction, Mosse employed this film to document an ongoing conflict situation in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. This humanitarian disaster—in which 5.4 million people have died since 1998—is largely overlooked by the mass media. Frequent massacres, human rights violations, and widespread sexual violence remain unaccounted for. In a kind of advocacy of seeing, The Enclave attempts to cast this forgotten tragedy in a new spectrum of light, to make this forgotten humanitarian disaster visible.
The Museum has acquired 69 photographs of Western Oregon by renowned landscape photographer Robert Adams. Taken between 1992 and 2012, the photographs explore the impact of clear-cutting in Oregon’s Coast Range and the hope of recovery found at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. The photographs were featured in the Museum's recent exhibition The Question of Hope: Robert Adams in Western Oregon and the accompanying publication. This is the largest single acquisition of photographs by a living artist of Adams’ stature in the Museum’s history, made possible through the generosity of Museum patrons Bonnie Serkin and Will Emery, several anonymous benefactors, and a grant from the Oregon Arts Commission. Read more here (PDF).