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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

 
Clean ­ Gene
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Apr 17, 2014 02:24 |  #31

elrey2375 wrote in post #16840090 (external link)
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.

Again, that's the whole point. Everyone's sort of speculating about what she would have wanted done with her work, but that's irrelevant. She's dead, her work is still here. It doesn't matter whether she wanted it shown, we've got it. That whole speculation about what she would have wanted just feels to me like something that predatory people do to help them sleep better at night. It's really easy to justify this kind of acquisition while saying "she would have wanted it this way" when the person isn't around to say otherwise. And that just sort of makes the attempt kind of hollow. Who cares what she wanted? She ain't here, she's dead. If she also left behind something that's of value to the rest of us, and if she didn't protect it from unauthorized use, then of course we're taking that $h**.

And, that is predatory. Well, maybe not predatory, it's more like like something that a scavenger would do. But either way, it's based on self-interest, not what the hell she wanted. So let's just stop trying to pretend like we're doing what she wanted. What she would have wanted is irrelevant, she's freaking dead and she left valuable stuff behind.




  
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Apr 17, 2014 23:08 |  #32
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Watch the movie, you'll know what she wanted...

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airfrogusmc
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Apr 18, 2014 15:08 |  #33

Clean Gene wrote in post #16840102 (external link)
Again, that's the whole point. Everyone's sort of speculating about what she would have wanted done with her work, but that's irrelevant. She's dead, her work is still here. It doesn't matter whether she wanted it shown, we've got it. That whole speculation about what she would have wanted just feels to me like something that predatory people do to help them sleep better at night. It's really easy to justify this kind of acquisition while saying "she would have wanted it this way" when the person isn't around to say otherwise. And that just sort of makes the attempt kind of hollow. Who cares what she wanted? She ain't here, she's dead. If she also left behind something that's of value to the rest of us, and if she didn't protect it from unauthorized use, then of course we're taking that $h**.

And, that is predatory. Well, maybe not predatory, it's more like like something that a scavenger would do. But either way, it's based on self-interest, not what the hell she wanted. So let's just stop trying to pretend like we're doing what she wanted. What she would have wanted is irrelevant, she's freaking dead and she left valuable stuff behind.

As did Atget and Winogrand. Both had a lot of there work printed after their deaths. And we are all better for it.




  
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Apr 19, 2014 12:46 as a reply to  @ airfrogusmc's post |  #34

Saw it yesterday in a local theater here in SF. I liked the interviews with Joel Meyerowitz and Mary Ellen Mark, wish there had been more from the latter. The movie is slightly odd at times (what was the point with the 'accent' interviews?) but overall a good watch. Especially recommended for people who like to shoot in the streets but I think a wider audience will enjoy it.


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airfrogusmc
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Apr 19, 2014 14:25 |  #35

BrianS wrote in post #16846268 (external link)
Saw it yesterday in a local theater here in SF. I liked the interviews with Joel Meyerowitz and Mary Ellen Mark, wish there had been more from the latter. The movie is slightly odd at times (what was the point with the 'accent' interviews?) but overall a good watch. Especially recommended for people who like to shoot in the streets but I think a wider audience will enjoy it.

Brain, what I got out of the part trying to explain the fake accent was that she just another way to try and hide who she really was.




  
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BrianS
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Apr 20, 2014 11:39 |  #36

airfrogusmc wrote in post #16846422 (external link)
Brain, what I got out of the part trying to explain the fake accent was that she just another way to try and hide who she really was.

Right, but there was the other guy (can't remember who he was) who said he accent was real. That sequence just seemed odd to me.

I seem to recall from the BBC documentary that she lived in France for a number of years during her childhood, something this movie doesn't mention (from what I can remember).


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airfrogusmc
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Apr 20, 2014 12:05 |  #37

BrianS wrote in post #16848162 (external link)
Right, but there was the other guy (can't remember who he was) who said he accent was real. That sequence just seemed odd to me.

I seem to recall from the BBC documentary that she lived in France for a number of years during her childhood, something this movie doesn't mention (from what I can remember).

I think they were trying to show how she fooled some people. The language expert was the one that said to was clearly fake.
Maybe this had something to do with it. She saw the exhibit of 5 French Photographers at MoMA well here check this out.
Click on the first piece
http://chicagotonight.​wttw.com …10/searching-vivian-maier (external link)




  
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boingy
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Apr 21, 2014 00:47 |  #38

Went to the gallery in SF yesterday and it was underwhelming at best. That collection is a weak curation in my opinion. I guess it wasn't part of the Maloof collection. It's probably from another owner of her other work, meaning limited choices. I would even go as far as say that she would never allow a series like that to be presented of her work. That's just my opinion though.

Saw the film too. It was alright, maybe because I basically knew most of the story beforehand. Too much nonsense and too much about Maloof in my opinion. I think I rested my eyes at one point. Overall it was pretty good though. Seems like she had very bad anxiety, obviously with the hoarding and social behaviors; possible PTSD too.. Likely some type of personality disorder or traits as well. It was too bad she couldn't present her work herself. Or at least initially to get an idea of what she would be happy with.

I'm actually going to be in Paris in less than two weeks and there is a VM exhibit not too far away, bu not close enough to see it for my vacation purpose. There's a good chance I may check out a Bresson gallery that's pretty close to Notre Dame though. The wife already gave the OK :) ...craziest thing is that my only camera I'll have with me is my S110 :(


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Apr 21, 2014 10:00 |  #39

Saw the film over the weekend. My wife, who isn't generally interested documentaries, enjoyed it. I thought it was pretty well done, albeit with the goal of justifying efforts to make her works public. I don't have a problem with that at all. We found the psychology of the photographer most interesting.

A photographer friend also went with us. He and I thought her work was very good. My wife shared the sentiment of the pawn shop owner (or whatever trade she was involved with), who said that she didn't find the work itself was as interesting as the mystery of the photographer (Maier).


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Apr 24, 2014 08:56 |  #40

We went last night. She obviously had issues and had she been born 30 - 40 years later probably would have had been treated for it. Lots of advances in that area. Question is if she had been treated would she have produced 100,000 + negatives?

As for being exploited that is a hard call. Is the guy going to make a pile of money on this? Yes, however the question is did he go the extra steps to make more or to show the world how good she was and share her story. Maybe a bit of both but I'm going go with he felt the world should know her story. He is was going to be rich anyway. He did not have to set up that gallery in her parents home town which I figure he probably funded.

As for her not being recognized in the art world because she did not print her work. I figure when you get to an elite level in anything come the politics, etc. All of a sudden this person comes out of nowhere, rocks the photo world and there are elite artists who have been at it for decades.

Did she want to be discovered after death? They said they thought she wanted to but I'm not so sure. Was it the right thing to do? I think it was. She was very good and doing things in a time that very few people did without training and probably very little contact with other photographers. She was a natural. I like the part in the movie when the guy from the village said the only time people took pictures were at communions and weddings. She was different.

I'm glad they did this documentary. They did not hold back on her dark side when it came to a few stories of abuse which I found interesting. It was sad how lonely she was at the end and with treatment it may have been different. I think she deserves the recognition because of her work and how she spent her final years. No one should have to go through that.

About the the people who participated. You have to weed through that as you never know who thinks they can make a dollar from this in some way. Hard to tell but it would not surprise me if we see this one day in some way.


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Apr 25, 2014 09:45 |  #41

Saw it last night with a friend. She didn't like the heavy Maloof narrative. I didn't mind it so much - to me, it's part of the narrative question - who goes to auction houses and buys negatives? Someone who had the insight to realize what he had stumbled on, and the entrepreneurial spirit to walk through and get to this point - why not make your money this way, as opposed to spending your time doing any number of other tasks that the rest of the human race devotes itself to. Being rewarded for discovering, exploring, and promoting genius? Sure. Now if she was still alive or had direct relatives, and he had purchased her work and was not sharing proceeds - that would be a different matter.


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Apr 25, 2014 11:03 |  #42

Hard call about direct relatives. That could have been very complicated. Sounds like the family was very disconnected. You could have either had family members that cared for her and did not realize the worth of her work or could not care less about her and let her to fend for herself. You can tell the difference between that and someone who looked after and cared for her. That could have been a legal vs moral issue.

He legally purchased everything, if there was no will and if a family member had come out of the woodwork somewhere making claims legally it would be his I think. He said he wished he could have given her money. She probably needed a lot of help at stage of her life. Easy to say after the fact but I'm go on the side that I think he was legit on that one.


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airfrogusmc
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Apr 25, 2014 14:15 |  #43

I think she was molested as implied and she wanted to have anything to do with her family because of it.




  
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Apr 25, 2014 14:55 |  #44

Agreed.


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Apr 25, 2014 16:52 |  #45

I didn't know about an implication that she was molested. If she was, it could account for her desire to hide.


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Finding Vivian Maier
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