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Richard Mosse, Souda Camp, Chios Island, 2017. © Richard Mosse. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

Richard Mosse
The Castle
April 26–June 9, 2018
Opening Thursday, April 26, 7–9pm
Artist Talk, April 26, 6pm
Arsenal Contemporary Toronto, 45 Ernest Ave

Richard Mosse’s series, The Castle, is a meticulous documentation of refugee camps and staging sites along mass migration routes into the European Union from the Middle East and Central Asia.

To create each “heat map,” Mosse employs a military-grade thermal video camera that can detect human body heat from a distance of 30.3km. The camera depicts a heat signature of relative temperature difference, showing the incandescence of bodily warmth in relation to the climatic conditions of the surrounding environment. Regarded as a weapons technology, the camera is protected under International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), making it difficult to transport over international borders. Designed for border surveillance, battlefield situational awareness, insurgent detection, tracking, and targeting, as well as search and rescue, this camera can be understood as part of the military-humanitarian complex that constitutes the EU’s response to the ongoing mass-migration crisis.

The result of numerous preparatory visits, often revealing changing immigration policy, Mosse has filmed each site from high elevation to reveal camps that are frequently closed, off limits, or restricted. Mosse has gathered the source footage used to composite the resulting heat maps by attaching this super-telescopic heat-sensitive camera to a robotic motion-control arm. These durational photographs are thermal panoramas made up of hundreds or sometimes thousands of overlapping “cells” or individual frames, a truncated spatio-temporal form that speaks to the lived experience of refugees indefinitely awaiting asylum and trapped in a Byzantine state of limbo.

Works by the New York-based Irish artist have been exhibited extensively around the world, and he is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2017 Prix Pictet, Global Award in Photography and Sustainability.

Organized by CONTACT in partnership with Arsenal Contemporary Toronto

Read more about this exhibition and others at the CONTACT website.


Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival
80 Spadina Avenue, Suite 205
Toronto, Ontario M5V 2J4
T 416 539 9595
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CONTACT fosters and celebrates the art and profession of photography with an annual Festival in May and year-round programming in the CONTACT Gallery.

CONTACT, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1997, is generously supported by Scotiabank, Nikon Canada, Pattison Outdoor Advertising, La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso, Vistek, Dentons Canada LLP, Toronto Image Works, The Gilder, Transcontinental PLM, 3M Canada, BIG Digital, Waddington's Auctioneers and Appraisers, Four By Eight Signs, Beyond Digital Imaging, Steam Whistle Brewing, Art Toronto, The Gladstone Hotel, First Gulf, Colliers International, The Globe and Mail, NOW Magazine, CBC Toronto, and Canadian Art.

CONTACT gratefully acknowledges the support of Celebrate Ontario, Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Ontario Arts Council, The Government of Ontario, Partners in Art, Canada Council for the Arts, Consulate General of the United States, the Howard Webster Foundation, Mondriaan Fund, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Goethe-Institut, the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council, and all of our funders, donors, and programming partners.





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