Skip to Content
Admission is always free Directions
The Gallery is closed today

Release Date: November 5, 2019

Richard Mosse: Incoming
November 17, 2019–April 5, 2020
East Building, Concourse Level

Still from Richard Mosse, Incoming, 2014–2017, three-channel video with sound, 52:10 minutes, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of the Collectors Committee and Robert B. Menschel Fund. © Richard Mosse. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Still from Richard Mosse, Incoming, 2014–2017, three-channel video with sound, 52:10 minutes, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of the Collectors Committee and Robert B. Menschel Fund. © Richard Mosse. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Washington, DC—Mesmerizing and unsettling, the immersive video Incoming (2014–2017) by Richard Mosse (b. 1980) presents viewers with the sights and sounds of a pressing issue of our time: mass migration. Seeking a new way to shed light on the refugee crisis and "the urgent narratives of human displacement," Mosse and cinematographer Trevor Tweeten capture fragments of events along two major pathways leading into Europe—one from Africa, the other from the Middle East—using a highly specialized surveillance camera. Originally designed for military use, the camera produces images by detecting thermal radiation, including the heat of a human body, from as far as 18 miles away. The effect allows Mosse to walk a tightrope, exposing the intimate stories of these refugees while providing a veil of privacy, isolating the plight of individuals while underscoring their interconnectedness with all humanity.

Along the eastern route Mosse aims the camera from the Turkish border into Syria, where we witness an airstrike. Other moments reveal the deafening roar of American fighter jets, and the urgency of first responders on shore. Along the second route, leading north through Africa and across the Mediterranean Sea, Mosse shows glimpses of the migrants' journey and the struggle to secure a spot aboard overloaded transport vehicles making the dangerous journey across the Sahara Desert. Scenes from the emergency shelter at Tempelhof Airport in Berlin and the notorious Jungle refugee camp in Calais, France suggest the migrants' bleak and tenuous circumstances.

Projected on three large screens at 24 frames per second (slowed from the usual 60 frames per second), Incoming is accompanied by a haunting score composed of ambient sound by Ben Frost, played on seven channels of surround sound. A recent acquisition purchased with funds from the Collectors Committee and a gift from Robert B. Menschel, the 52-minute video work will be installed on the East Building Concourse and accompanied by nine photographic stills from the film.

Made possible through the generous support of the Trellis Fund.

The installation is curated by Sarah Greenough, senior curator and head of the department of photographs, and Andrea Nelson, associate curator, department of photographs, with technical assistance from Brian Dooda, audiovisual systems specialist, department of media production.

Related Programs

A Conversation with Richard Mosse
November 17 at 2:00 p.m.
West Building Lecture Hall
Richard Mosse, artist, with Sarah Greenough, senior curator and head, department of photographs, National Gallery of Art, and Andrea Nelson, associate curator of photographs, National Gallery of Art
The program will be streamed at
Made possible by the James D. and Kathryn K. Steele Fund for Photography.

Arnold Newman Lecture Series on Photography: Teju Cole and Fazal Sheikh
March 18 at 6:30 p.m.
West Building Lecture Hall
Teju Cole, artist, curator, novelist, photography critic of the New York Times Magazine (2015–2019), and Gore Vidal Professor of the Practice of Creative Writing, Harvard University; Fazal Sheikh, artist and visiting lecturer, Lewis Center for the Arts, Princeton University
The conversation will be streamed live at
A book signing of Human Archipelago follows. The Arnold and Augusta Newman Foundation generously supported this series.

Education Programs
Various programs will offer visitors opportunities for reflection. Planned programs include pop-up writing and poetry activities immediately outside the installation and art activities exploring the concept of home in the Gallery's education studio.

Teacher Workshop
Exploring Complex Global Issues through Slow Looking
January 30 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Register at
In a world saturated with images, from the superficial to the horrific, how do we focus attention on what truly matters? This workshop will explore one of the most pressing issues of our time—mass migration—through an immersive video installation by Richard Mosse, Incoming (2014–2017). Participants will experience the power of slow looking in exploring works of art, ourselves, and our world. The workshop will consider the role of artist as activist and will conclude with time for reflection and connections to classroom practice.

Teachers of all subjects and grade levels (prekindergarten through grade 12), homeschoolers, and pre-service educators are welcome.

Press Contact:
Isabela Bulkeley, (202) 842-6864 or [email protected]


General Information

The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden are at all times free to the public. They are located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, and are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Gallery is closed on December 25 and January 1. For information call (202) 737-4215 or visit the Gallery's Web site at Follow the Gallery on Facebook at, Twitter at, and Instagram at

Visitors will be asked to present all carried items for inspection upon entering. Checkrooms are free of charge and located at each entrance. Luggage and other oversized bags must be presented at the 4th Street entrances to the East or West Building to permit x-ray screening and must be deposited in the checkrooms at those entrances. For the safety of visitors and the works of art, nothing may be carried into the Gallery on a visitor's back. Any bag or other items that cannot be carried reasonably and safely in some other manner must be left in the checkrooms. Items larger than 17 by 26 inches cannot be accepted by the Gallery or its checkrooms.
For additional press information please call or send inquiries to:
Department of Communications
National Gallery of Art
2000B South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
phone: (202) 842-6353
e-mail: [email protected]
Anabeth Guthrie
Chief of Communications
(202) 842-6804
[email protected]


Sign up here to receive the latest news briefs from the National Gallery of Art Communications Office.

The Gallery also offers a broad range of newsletters for various interests. Follow this link to view the complete list.

Press Kit

Press Release

Order Press Images

Press Contact

Isabela Bulkeley
(202) 842-6864
[email protected]

Questions from members of the media may be directed to the Department of Communications at (202) 842-6353 or [email protected]

The public may call (202) 737-4215 or visit for more information about the National Gallery of Art.