Vivian Maier - Overprocessed?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by Norma Desmond, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. " think more people are aware and have seen some of the images the way it has been done so far than donating the images to a museum or university. They would have sat on them for years trying to figure out what to do. Somewhere down the line they probably will go to either of those venues so you will get your wish".

    I think museums and universities' are probably flooded with work from varies artists....perhaps they do need time to ponder. Commercial organizations look for the money making aspects of any projects....and a Nanny with a Camera, back in the day....what a cool marketing back story. Especially if you add in the finding of her secret treasure trove of hidden photographs and the purported idea she was somewhat a bit strange.

    I admire her dedication to photography; looking at a world gone bye, and her own vision of that world.
    movingfinger, Brad_ and tholte like this.
  2. Yes. Perhaps the intention of that particular curation and the inclusion of those many previously unseen and unpublished photographs (for good reason often) was to underscore and look self-reflectively at the act of curation and of looking critically at an artist's or photographer's output over their lifetime? I don't think the sole purpose of curation is to wow the audience. Its purpose can also be to further elucidate the work of an artist.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
    tholte likes this.
  3. I think her pictures are really good, otherwise no one would be interested in them. Atget wasn't really popular either.
    "Opinions are like a...s everybody has one."
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  4. Yes… I think most here understand the objectives of museum retrospectives.

    The context of my point, though, was in relation to Maier’s wide range of material now available to the public without the benefit of her editing or input.

    And then to illustrate, as an example, the difference in perception of a retrospective exhibition sampling most works of a photographer, curated by the museum, 33 years after the he died, vs an exhibition of seminal work that was essentially self-curated 60 years ago when it was edited by the photographer.
    Supriyo likes this.
  5. She gives hope to all of us that some day in the far future, maybe in a landfill somewhere, someone will discover a discarded hard drive with all our photographs on it and we will finally be celebrated as the photographic genius we always knew we were.
    David_Cavan, Nick D., tholte and 2 others like this.
  6. Be careful. And stipulate in your will/trust who shall be the recipient of your image copyrights. Otherwise, someone might take those files/negatives and claim copyright ownership. They would rightfully own the files/negatives, but not the right to make and sell prints.
  7. Sanford, you are correct. I hope someone discovers my negatives and prints after I am gone. If they manage to make some money then more power to them. I won't be here so they have my permission to do whatever they want. I saw her pictures before I heard about her story and controversy and I liked the pictures that were published. She lived, she photographed and she died. She did not leave any instructions about what to do with her work. I am just glad that someone made the effort to make her work known.
    movingfinger likes this.
  8. I have enjoyed the whole Vivian Maier story immensely. I enjoy the photographs and don't get too concerned about who is doing what with the photos and how much of the story is contrived or exaggerated. That some woman living in Chicago that very few people knew existed and walked the city streets taking photos of what she saw and is now getting some attention and respect is a true Cinderella Story as far as I am concerned. I know virtually nothing about art but I know I like most of the images she took and that is good enough for me.
    rachelle_m., movingfinger and Nick D. like this.
  9. A large discussion on to itself. One may not like what Maloof has done with her photos or that fact that he's profited from them but legalities aside, I think he has more right to those photos (and the copyright) than some distant relative of VM's who never knew or barely knew her. Especially considering she'd apparently had virtually no contact with her family as an adult.

    Ethically, I could see the families she worked for and the kids she took care of her having a more legit claim but that's not how the laws work. After all, she was getting paid by them while she was taking these photos and they were more like actual family to her than her biological relatives.
    Vincent Peri and tholte like this.
  10. I am not against curating. I think, curated works if done properly can carry immense value. I am in addition, interested in the uncurated images in the hope that they may provide a different kind of insight into the life and (possibly) day to day working of the photographer.
  11. And they can't even bloody SPELL!

  12. I met Malloot in Los Angeles at the show and though I had prior to meeting him felt in the back of my mind a nagging doubt about what appeared as an exploitation of the work and the marketing and commodification of the personality. On meeting him I actually found myself liking him. He's not some steely eyed marketing exec. He's a guy that worked like people I know, going around to swap meets, garage sales, estate sales etc. and trying to find salable items. He also happened to be interested in photography and really just stumbled on to this whole thing. Once he started looking at the negs and printing some of them he felt he had something. He's spent a lot of money properly preserving the negatives and printing them, he kind of just got consumed by this whole obsession with her. He hasn't really made a ton of money except to the extent that income is just about financing the project. Don't get me wrong. I'm sure he wouldn't mind making something out of it, and I wouldn't have a problem with that. This has been his energy time and money to bring it about. Fair play to him. The film was interesting and not necessarily flattering. According to interviews with people, VM seemed pretty tweaked herself. Sure ultimately the work belongs as part of a foundation or museum for proper storage, care and curating, but he's done a pretty good job on that front himself. I tend to agree with Allen about her work though. There's some really great photos and, its important that she photographed a lot in Chicago just as a purely anthropological aspect of the photographs, but we know nothing really about what she thought about it. The context is all being implied via speculation and sort of reverse engineering. Its just happens that photos as well as other things can have meaning, purpose and use beyond the intentions of the photographer especially after the person is gone.
    rachelle_m. and Vincent Peri like this.
  13. Yikes..its Maloof, my bad.

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