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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 22 Jan 2014 (Wednesday) 18:41
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Finding Vivian Maier

 
boingy
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Apr 15, 2014 00:21 |  #16

Still haven't seen the film and not sure if I'll have time in the next month...Hopefully I can go check it out in SF and see the gallery there too.

It's kind of sad that she did not get the chance to curate her own work, whether or not she wanted to share it with the world. It's not really a true representation of VM, yet handpicked images of all shots she clicked and curated by who exactly? Maloof? other buyers of her negatives? Even if they consulted other top level street photographers it's still not her end vision. Same goes with the processing. I'm sure there are a lot of her work out there that she would choose to show differently or not shown at all. Including some of her contact sheets. The media hype and profit driven aspect of it all is just a turn off.


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digital ­ paradise
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Apr 15, 2014 00:28 |  #17

It seams she never wanted to. A very private person. True she is not around to make the calls, etc but I'm going because I'm interested in her story.


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Apr 15, 2014 16:03 |  #18

iamascientist wrote in post #16822747 (external link)
I'll be at the Boston showing, really looking forward to it.

What Boston showing? I don't see it.


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Apr 15, 2014 16:21 |  #19

Oh, it's in Cambridge. Starts showing this Friday. Definitely gonna try to see it.


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Apr 15, 2014 22:16 |  #20

There has been some chatter about her work being exploited after she became famous, trying to decide of she was so meticulous that she wanted to be discovered after passing. I have not seen the movie but everything I have seen and read so far makes me think she was a savant at some level, if even slight. I don't think that her goal was to be famous one day. However my first name is not Sigmund and even if it was sometimes an artists mystery is more wonderful when left undiscovered.


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Apr 15, 2014 22:50 |  #21

airfrogusmc wrote in post #16835860 (external link)
. . . she did meticulously save the work so I believe that maybe this is exactly what she wanted.

She hoarded things, I believe. Apparently she kept stacks of newspapers. Maybe compulsiveness kept her from discarding her photos.


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Apr 16, 2014 08:07 |  #22

Whether or not she wanted to become famous or even whether she wanted her work to be seen... does that take away from the fact that her work is being made public and appreciated?


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Apr 16, 2014 08:31 |  #23

Got tickets for the April 25th showing. The theater its playing at is 2 blocks from my studio!



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Apr 16, 2014 16:11 |  #24

OhLook wrote in post #16837181 (external link)
She hoarded things, I believe. Apparently she kept stacks of newspapers. Maybe compulsiveness kept her from discarding her photos.

She knew what she had as far as her work went and yes she saved a lot of things, newspapers being one.




  
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airfrogusmc
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Apr 16, 2014 16:12 |  #25

Nathan wrote in post #16837802 (external link)
Whether or not she wanted to become famous or even whether she wanted her work to be seen... does that take away from the fact that her work is being made public and appreciated?

Not at all. All that matters is the work. And I do think she wanted her work to be seen. Just not while she was alive.




  
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Apr 16, 2014 16:26 |  #26

It'd be a very enlightened mindset if she collected all of that in her lifetime and wanted nothing more than to have it destroyed. Nothing is permanent afterall.

Can't help but wonder if there's a rather high probability that she suffered from a form of compulsive disorder, hence her hoarding habits. That could ultimately be why she saved everything that she did.

Unless we find in her writings (if any) what she intended with all her negatives, prints and recordings, then all we're doing is doing detective work and making educated guesses.

None of that bothers me... none of the attempts to profit off her work bothers me. If she has any survivors and, more important, heirs to her estate, then I hope they step up and can get what is rightfully theirs. Absent that, it's great that her work is getting out there.


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Clean ­ Gene
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Apr 16, 2014 17:09 |  #27

airfrogusmc wrote in post #16839009 (external link)
Not at all. All that matters is the work. And I do think she wanted her work to be seen. Just not while she was alive.

I think this makes some strong implications about who the work actually belongs to. It's easy for me to say that all that matters is the work when I'm the one benefitting from seeing it, but I wonder if I'd feel the same if I saw one of my photos show up in a magazine or something without my permission. And I'm not even talking about the money. I'm talking about artists like to have some control over what they say, and that relies on what they don't show just as much as it relies on what they do show.

Keep in mind, I'm not even saying that I disagree with the work being shown. I'm just saying that these ethical discussions seem to be a little bit self-serving. We can argue all day about what she wanted, but that's ultimately beside the point. Seems to me that it's not even about whether or not it's right to posthumously take her work and present it in a way that may or not represent what she wanted. It's more about whether or not we CAN. Whether she wanted her work seen or not, she didn't take adequate measures to protect it from being seen. If she's looking from beyond the grave and getting mad that her work is getting shown, then that's her fault for not adequately protecting it.




  
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Apr 16, 2014 18:41 |  #28

Nathan wrote in post #16839057 (external link)
Can't help but wonder if there's a rather high probability that she suffered from a form of compulsive disorder, hence her hoarding habits. That could ultimately be why she saved everything that she did.

It seems likely to me. And isn't street photography, after all, an attempt to save ephemeral sights?

If she has any survivors and, more important, heirs to her estate, then I hope they step up and can get what is rightfully theirs.

If she died intestate, would her property belong to the government of the state where she last lived?


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boingy
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Apr 16, 2014 22:24 |  #29

You have to keep in mind timing was unfortunate in terms of the discovery of her work and her death. I can't make assumptions of her overall physical and mental health during her last years, but I do believe she had a pretty bad fall and it kind of spiraled downhill from there. What if she never fell and Maloof was able to find her in time? It would be a totally different ball game.

Anyway I think there's a good chance I'll have time this Saturday to see the show and also check out her gallery in San Francisco. Looking forward to it!


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Apr 17, 2014 02:09 |  #30

Clean Gene wrote in post #16839179 (external link)
I think this makes some strong implications about who the work actually belongs to. It's easy for me to say that all that matters is the work when I'm the one benefitting from seeing it, but I wonder if I'd feel the same if I saw one of my photos show up in a magazine or something without my permission. And I'm not even talking about the money. I'm talking about artists like to have some control over what they say, and that relies on what they don't show just as much as it relies on what they do show.

Keep in mind, I'm not even saying that I disagree with the work being shown. I'm just saying that these ethical discussions seem to be a little bit self-serving. We can argue all day about what she wanted, but that's ultimately beside the point. Seems to me that it's not even about whether or not it's right to posthumously take her work and present it in a way that may or not represent what she wanted. It's more about whether or not we CAN. Whether she wanted her work seen or not, she didn't take adequate measures to protect it from being seen. If she's looking from beyond the grave and getting mad that her work is getting shown, then that's her fault for not adequately protecting it.

Since she isn't here, she doesn't feel one way or another about it. She was possessive of her photography and most definitely knew what she had. If she had wanted to be famous while she was alive, she certainly had the talent and eye to achieve that but that's not what she was about. She liked the process. She only stopped developing because money was an issue for her most of her life and she couldn't afford to develop anymore.


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Finding Vivian Maier
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