Susan Sontag wrote that “photography implies that we know about the world if we accept it as the camera records it. But this is the opposite of understanding, which starts from not accepting the world as it looks.” Richard Mosse’s unorthodox approach to recording the worldbeginning especially with his photo series “Infra,” 2010–15, and its related six-channel video, The Enclave, 2012–13, and continuing with his new body of work, “Heat Maps,” 2016–, recently on view at Jack Shainman’s Twentieth Street spaceengages with some of the central notions underlying Sontag’s well-known dictum, complicating expectations about how photography might be understood to represent and/or misrepresent, and working to mobilize both tendencies to promote the sort of ethical engagement she invokes.
For the earlier two projects, which document the human and physical landscape of the eastern
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