Richard Mosse is an Irish artist currently based in New York. Documenting some of the most significant humanitarian and environmental crises of our time, his work has been the subject of recent solo exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, Barbican Art Gallery in London, and the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. Recent survey exhibitions were held at Kunsthalle Bremen (2022) and MAST Foundation, Bologna (2021). Mosse was the recipient of the Prix Pictet 2017, the winner of the 2014 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, and represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale with the six-screen video installation The Enclave in 2013.

Previous publications by Mosse include The Castle (MACK, 2018), Incoming (MACK, 2017), and Infra (Aperture Foundation, 2012).

Devastation in the Amazon rainforest and the climate change it triggers tend to unfold in ways that are too vast to comprehend, too minute to perceive, and too normalised to see. In an attempt to render the scale and urgency of the Amazon’s extensive, impending collapse, Richard Mosse’s most ambitious work to date employs a dazzling array of photographic techniques.

Broken Spectre is an immersive, 74-minute film that shifts between a manifold of ecological narratives, from the topographic to the anthropocentric, and to a careful examination of nonhuman violence and survival. Mosse and his team spent years documenting different fronts of destruction, degradation and environmental crimes in the Amazon Basin and related eco-systems.

Broken Spectre operates on multiple scales: inky, fluorescent microscopic imagery describes the interdependent complexity of the Amazonian biome in scientific detail, while cinematic monochrome infrared scenes track illegal mining, logging and burning, industrial agriculture and indigenous activism.

Meanwhile, airborne multispectral footage starkly renders vast swathes of empty land in contrast to the lush rainforest, showing the vast scale and systematic organisation of the Amazon’s destruction.

In accompanying photographic works, Mosse renders the invisible visible: through multispectral cameras that emulate satellite imaging technology, alongside ultraviolet botanical studies, and heat-sensitive analogue film warped, mottled and degraded by the oppressive environment and by the burning forest itself. Accompanying these experimental documentary works are Mosse’s hypnotically vivid aerial maps, which zoom out and colourise the scale and extent of natural decimation in piercing detail, employing specially-made Geographic Information System (GIS) imaging technology.

As climate change continues to define our era and the future of the planet, Mosse bears witness to a rapidly unfolding catastrophe: recent scientific studies predict that the Amazon is close to reaching a tipping point, at which stage it will no longer be able to generate rain, triggering mass forest dieback and carbon release at devastating levels, impacting climate change, biodiversity, and local and international communities. Mosse shows both human sides of the tragedy: from the Yanomami and Munduruku Indigenous communities fighting for survival; to illegal gold miners poisoning and destroying entire river systems for tiny handfuls of gold; alongside Brazilian cowboys wilfully burning their pristine surroundings to create pasture for cattle to sell on international meat and leather markets.

Created from 2018 to 2022, Broken Spectre is published ahead of gravely significant general elections in Brazil, in which Jair Bolsanaro’s victory may seal the destruction of the irreplaceable Amazon forever.


Director / Producer
Richard Mosse

Cinematographer / Editor
Trevor Tweeten

Composer / Sound Design
Ben Frost

Digital Colorist / Post-Production
Jerome Thelia

Film Processing and Studio Manager
Matthew Warren

Film Processing Advisor
Cary Kung

Film Processing Assistant
Kimin Kim

Film Scanning
Metropolis Film Lab

Fixers / Translators
Gabriel Bogossian, Alejandro del Solar Bravo, Alessandro Falco, Marco Lima, Gabriel Uchida

Production Assistant
Diana Morales Ocegueda

Edimar Tozzo

Aéreo Especial

Multispectral Camera engineer
Jeffrey Carson, Spectral Devices

35mm Camera Rental
Hand Held Films

Sound Engineers
Mike Amacio, Carlos Boix

Jon Lee Anderson

Cloud Forest Guides
Alex Guevara, Arlette Arn, Finca Palmonte

Yanomama Translator
Ana Maria Antunes Machado

Form & Konzept

Technical realization
Studio Agenturbüro

Funding and Support

Broken Spectre was co-commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria, VIA Art Fund and the Westridge Foundation, and by the Serpentine Galleries. Additional support provided by Collection SVPL and Jack Shainman Gallery.


Donate to Hutukara Yanomami Association here and help the Indigenous people hold up the sky.


Richard Mosse – Broken Spectre

Published by Loose Joints in collaboration with 180 Studios and Converge 45
Special Edition also available with 8x11“ fibre silver gelatin print
440pp, 245 × 320 mm, 342 photos and film stills
Section-sewn debossed softcover on multiple paper stocks with gatefolds
With a 48pp booklet in English, Portuguese, Tupi-Mondé and Yanomami. Texts by Txai Suruí, Christian Viveros-Fauné, Gabriel Bogossian, and Jon Lee Anderson; interview with the artist by Hans Ulrich Obrist.
ISBN 978-1-912719-43-3

You can order your copy of Broken Spectre here.


Broken Spectre

Jack Shainmann Gallery,
46 Lafayette Street, New York
12 Jan – 16 Mar, 2024
Opening reception Jan 12 from 6–8PM

Broken Spectre

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
30 Sept 2022 – 23 Apr 2023

Broken Spectre

180 Studios, 180 The Strand, London
Frieze week preview 10 – 16 Oct 2022
Main exhibition 24 Oct – 4 Dec 2022

Social Forms: Art as Global Citizenship

Converge 45 2023 Biennial, Portland 24 Aug – 18 Dec 2023



Opening reception Jan 12, 6–8PM
Jack Shainmann Gallery,
46 Lafayette Street, New York