BODY HEAT: RICHARD MOSSE Captures the Edges of Europe in INCOMING

During the making of Incoming, Richard Mosse describes being perched atop a hill on the Turkish-Syrian border, registering occasional thuds from far away and watching palls of black smoke drift in the distance. A farmer calmly tends to his land in the Turkish zone, unaware of being watched, while explosives go off on the other side – normality bordering depravity. Capturing the bodies of those displaced by modern crises, Mosse’s film was shot on a machine that is classified as a weapon of war: a military-grade surveillance camera that is able to detect a human from 30.3 kilometers away. Its optics are made of a rare mineral that is lab-grown into crystals, which are then polished, coated, and fitted to a long-range lens that can see far beyond biological possibility. The camera is designed to locate targets at great distances, and transporting one across international borders without the necessary clearance is considered weapons smuggling.

Created with this technology, Mosse’s project depicts battles inside Syria, missile strikes, human trafficking, and the burning of a refugee camp in a manner that is as cold-blooded as it is heartbreaking. His camera takes on the perspective of a missile, a presence that is unbiased yet incredibly invasive. Incoming’s aesthetic is marked by the brute process of considering humanity through the detection of thermal radiation. Printed as film stills, they evoke a detached nostalgia.

Stripped of atmospheric haze, Incoming reveals what Giorgio Agamben calls “bare life” – or, in Mosse’s case, humans seen as nothing but body heat. His camera levels all, including the victims of hypothermia who are only identifiable by their ashen skin. While the contouring of bodies creates a dehumanizing effect, the vision of the camera dispels any sentimental illusions about the glory of war. The refugees from the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe flee war, persecution, or changes in climate that have made their lands uninhabitable. Here, Mosse frees bodies from their stigmas and otherness. The images clarify the contingency of citizenship and the banality of violence. It does not discriminate, nor judge. Its technology grants it a God-like indifference.

Incoming is published by MACK (London, 2017). Richard Mosse was awarded the Prix Pictet Space 2017 for his work Incoming.

richard mosse
incoming

Published in

Issue #32 — Summer 2017"US vs. THEM"

Issue # 32 — Summer 2017

Issue #32 – Summer 2017: “US vs. THEM”

How do you find truth in an age without facts? The answer: wake up and stick together. In this issue’s dossier “US vs. THEM,” creative director RICHARD TURLEY explores how the Global Right Wing’s blatant disregard for reality has given us all a license to become Nonsense Warriors. Turning away from “them” and towards “us,” CATHERINE OPIE, NICOLAS GHESQUIÈRE, and STEFANO PILATI take us into their inner circles of friends, while COLLIER SCHORR turns BELLA HADID into Lisa Lyon. We revisit the work of MICHAEL SCHMIDT, and how his community workshops turned Berlin into a cauldron of contemporary photography. JACKIE NICKERSON shows us what Robert Longo looks like with a faster Internet connection, while CARSTEN HÖLLER takes us into his kitchen to explore the post-digital nature of food. We speak with VIRGIL ABLOH as he plots a fashion industry coup d’état and follow JASON DILL on a skate odyssey to hell and back to Fucking Awesome. And, last but not least, we make a pilgrimage to Santo Sospir, the villa on the Riviera where JEAN COCTEAU created his greatest Gesamtkunstwerk.

Also included with the issue, our “HEAT UP HADID” TRANSFER KIT which allows you to create your own t-shirt emblazoned with this issue’s BELLA HADID cover.

Learn more about the issue below:

Nothing makes sense. Nothing ever will again. The year 2016 marked a total rupture in the theater of politics. Even if the damaging effects of Donald Trump’s election somehow prove to be short-lived, his rise indicates a crisis wherein digital acceleration has led to political regression. In our dossier “US vs. THEM,” creative director RICHARD TURLEY creates a handbook for our new political paradigm. Its central hypothesis: Only within the chaos of this media overload will we discover what is real again.

“I am not sure if the sculptures were even subjects for her photographs …” For her first ever magazine editorial, “Heroines: Paris/Los Angeles,” artist CATHERINE OPIEteamed up with artistic director NICOLAS GHESQUIÈRE to create a study on the power of classicism and ambiguity. The exploration begins on the beige stone of the Louvre’s sculpture garden and continues to Opie’s studio in Los Angeles, documenting a sprawling circle of friends and acquaintances.

On a surrealist journey into the past, Martin Mosebach visits the summer retreat of JEAN COCTEAU. At the Villa Santo Sospir, the artist spent a decade’s worth of summers smoking opium and creating his largest total artwork.

Back with a vengeance for her third 032c cover story, COLLIER SCHORR teams up with fashion director Mel Ottenberg for “Smith & Wesson Blues,” a shoot with BELLA HADID, inspired by the body builder and Robert Mapplethorpe muse Lisa Lyon.

“Duchamp is my lawyer.” From his fortress of irony, designer VIRGIL ABLOH is set on turning fashion into the industrial arm of the art world. In conversation with 032c’s managing editor Thom Bettridge, he explains how streetwear is not just a fad, but a logic inspired by Dada and destined to dominate the digital age.

Accompanied by a re-print of MICHAEL SCHMIDT’s 2002 story for 032c, Kolja Reichert explores how the photographer’s community workshops from 1976 to 1986 create a style born out of the “Gray Island” of Berlin.

For the story “Energy Crisis,” photographer LUKAS WASSMANN and designer STEFANO PILATI shoot an editorial inside Michael Sailstorfer’s exhibition “Hitzefrei” at St. Agnes. As his first for a magazine editorial, Pilati’s styling includes garments from his own personal wardrobe.

“It’s an exhausting reality,” laughs JASON DILL. In an odyssey documented with drawings and pictures from his personal archive, the skate legend takes us to hell and back to Fucking Awesome.

In “Push Me Shove You Oh Yeah Says Who,” photographer JACKIE NICKERSON, along with fashion editor Marc Goehring and 032c apparel creative director Maria Koch, presents a yogic meditation on a white collar dystopia.

“I’m very bad at killing, in general.” As an antidote to postmodern culinary mediocrity, artist CARSTEN HÖLLER takes us to his concrete perch on the seaside of Ghana and guides us through the 11 points of his “Brutalist Kitchen Manifesto.”

In the “SSENSE Files,” we bring you scenes of cross-platform madness, including interviews with RICARDO BOFILL, PLAYBOI CARTI, CHITOSE ABE, CHRIS KRAUS, HENRY STAMBLER, AMINA BLUE, and 69.

In our second-ever “BERLIN REVIEW” section, we speak with JEFF KOONS about Plato, retrace MARTIN MARGIELA’s reign at Hermès, dive to the underwater tombs of PHARAOHS, and explore our favorite books of the season.

All this and more on 296 pages!