Ethiopie 2005

“There where the common eye sees only the sumptuousness of an ornament, the savagery of a mark painted on a face, the sophistication of a hairstyle, the trickle of water over the grain of the skin or a gentle smile, a tentative gesture, the curved nape of a neck, the photographer will see the seal that he stamps on his model, like a precious mark of distinction which is part of him and exiles him forever in his own light, cutting him off from the world.
To achieve that majestic transparency, that natural ecstasy, the art of the indissolubly living hieratism that he possesses, it needed the purity of a marginal eye, stripped bare, indirectly and perhaps unwillingly initiated into the nakedness of rituality, the transcendent elegance of signs – the signs of a civilization in which impassibility, an enigmatic suspension of feeling, is the prerequisite for a loving, implacable but translucent view of every living thing.” - Henry-Claude Cousseau

The following authors contributed to this work:
• Henry-Claude Cousseau, heritage chief curator, director of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 2000 through 2011