“…Cosindas’s photographs and the weirdness registered by other artists is not a simple question of influence or imitation, or even a claim that magic of this kind always works in the same way, but rather that there are often similar intuitions between practitioners in this shamanic mode, all of whose work seems to be a bewitching murmur, always placid but glimmering with the possibility of ensnaring the viewer, a paradox that is true of Cosindas’s densely woven pictures, the assemblages that she spent days putting together and that evoke spaces redolent of complexity like the kitchens of great cooks or the laboratories of ancient perfumers, spaces in which unexplained things happen, exemplified in her…”
Teju Cole makes it plain in his Essay in The New York Times, Still Lives That Won’t Hold Still – a masterful piece in praise of Marie Cosindas, the brilliant Photographer who passed away in May at the age of 93, that the evocative power of her work lies in its unabashed marshalling of elements into an hypnotic, almost mystical, yet sensual form – freer, yet structured for masterful impact.
Yet, on reading the piece, you get to see that the Essay in itself is an imitation of the Photographer’s colourful images – structured to emanate into a conscious flow that is so vivid in its description and alive in a way that grasps your breath, holds it, and takes you slowly on a seemingly never-ending literary Odyssey, as he pontificates about Consindas’ background and how her work compares with other greats.
The piece, a long, single sentence, now regarded as the longest one ever published by The New York Times, is a wonderfully brilliant read in whole, and brings to the fore, not only Consindas’ soulful body of work, but also Cole’s deserved reputation as a master of his craft.
You can read the whole article here