gb Vivian Maier, Thanks for keeping it alive, part one

second part

This translation from Spanish (original text) to English is not professional. I have done it with Google, so there will be linguistic errors that I ask you to know how to hide. Many times I have been asked to read my texts in English, and that is why I decided to do it. In addition to your patience, if you see something that I can correct, and wish to notify me of it, I will be happy to do so. In the meantime, with its lights and shadows, here are the lines that I have written. Hugo Kliczkowski Juritz

Photo SPAIN exhibition

Canal Foundation, c/Mateo Inurria, 2. Madrid

Curator: Anne Morin, director of di/Chroma photography

June 9 to August 14, 2016.

The Canal Foundation presented “Vivian Maier, Street Photographer”, the first major exhibition of who, after her death, became a world reference in photography.

“He knew how to capture his time in a fraction of a second. He transmitted the beauty of ordinary things, searching for the everyday, in the banal, the imperceptible fissures and the furtive inflections of reality.”

Vivian Maier, one of the most surprising and media characters in contemporary photography, alternated her profession as a nanny with her hidden and great passion: she took more than one hundred thousand photographs that she never showed.

After his death in destitution and artistic anonymity, his archive was found by accident, and since his work saw the light in 2010 he has become one of the greatest world references in “street photography” and a media phenomenon.

For the first time in Madrid, this exhibition takes a global tour of the work of Vivian Maier, thematically addressing her main interests and showing the quality of her vision and the subtlety with which she made the visual language of her time her own.

From a perspective interested in the urban and the formation of life in cities, that is, from an architectural perspective, Vivian’s photographs remind us of the soul that lives where we live.

They are not just streets, they are not just cars, they are not just spaces, but they are everything together and at the same time, the succession of images reflects our life.

In the 1995 film Smoke, by Paul Auster and directed by Wayne Wang, the protagonist Auggie Wren (Harvey Keitel) takes photos from the entrance of his business, which sells smoking items, always facing the same direction, every day he can.

His friend, the novelist Paul Benjamin (William Hurt) visits him and when he sees the photographic album, he tells him

-they are all the same, while turning the pages, why are you doing it he asks

Until suddenly in one of them, instead of seeing walkers, people crossing in one direction or another see their wife.

In reality, he stares at the woman who was his wife, because he had died, I don’t remember what he says, but I can remember that at that moment the protagonist understood, I understood, that, being the same photos, they are not the same.

The time, the people, the memories ourselves, we are not the same.

The critic Carlos Boyero (1953) wrote of the film “…I see it frequently…it helps to survive…”

The image of the river that seems the same, where the water flows permanently, reminds us factually that that river is never the same river, even if it seems that way.

That’s why I was so interested in Vivian Maier’s exhibition, her photographs also help us survive.

Exhibition content.

1957. 9 de enero. Florida

The exhibition includes a total of 120 photographs, in addition to a selection of contacts, taken between 1950 and 1981, of which 100 black and white images cover the period from 1950 to 1970 and another 20 in color from 1965 to 1981.

In addition to 9 Super 8 films made between 1965 and 1973. This material masterfully takes us on an interesting “walk” through the streets of New York and Chicago in the second half of the 20th century. We discover a story in every corner and a life behind each of the gestures of the protagonists of this exhibition: men, women and children; elderly, homeless and people with a well-off life, workers or simply people who travel on a train. But they all have something in common, something that at a certain moment caught Vivian’s attention to make them part of her world.

His life can easily evoke Churchill’s famous quote, “A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.”

Vivian Maier (February 1, 1926 – April 21, 2009) was born in New York City in the Bronx neighborhood.

He spent most of his youth in France, his mother was French, born in the High Alps of the Champsaur Valley, near the town of Gap, his father was Austro-Hungarian.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Maier and Jaussaud families left their respective homelands in search of a better life in the United States. They had met in New York where they married in 1919. In 1920 their first child, Charles, was born, and 6 years later Vivian would come into the world. The “American dream” was not fulfilled for the Maier family, they had to resign themselves to a much more difficult situation than the one they had left behind. Vivian had to live in a family worn down by economic difficulties.

1953. Septiembre. NY

In 1930, when he was only 4 years old, his father abandoned them, guardianship of his brother Charles passed to his paternal grandparents who lived in the Bronx. Maria Jaussaud and her daughter Vivian settled in this same neighborhood, in the house of a friend of her mother, Jeanne Bertrand, also from Champsaur, who had been working as a sculptor and photographer in New York since 1912. She was a renowned portrait painter in 1902. She had been proclaimed by the Boston Globe as one of Connecticut’s best photographers.

Jeanne Bertrand greatly influenced the life of Vivian Maier, although there is not much data that allows us to assess what type of influence she could have exerted on her. The 30s and 40s are quite a blur in Vivian’s life. It is known that he returned and settled with his mother in the Champsaur Valley, and in 1939, at the age of 13, he made one of his sporadic visits to New York with his mother due to litigation with the justice system over issues linked to his brother Charles.

In 1951 she returned permanently, but alone, without her mother.

She traveled on the steamship “De Grass”, and while she lived in New York she worked as a nanny for a family in Southampton.

Brownie Kodak de Vivian Maier

It was in 1949 that while in France, he began taking his first photographs with his mother’s modest and inaccurate Kodak Brownie box camera, a small amateur camera with a single shutter speed, no focus control and no aperture dial. .

Its screen was tiny and its results very poor.

In 1952, he bought a Rolleiflex camera.

When she moved permanently to the North Shore suburbs of Chicago, another family hired her as a nanny for their three children.

He maintained contact with them for the rest of his life.

In 1956, already settled in Chicago, she was able to have a private bathroom and a dark room where she could process her prints and develop her own black and white negatives.

Vivian Maier’s bathroom served as a dark room, some of her cameras. er did
the times of dark room. Right: some of its cameras

At the beginning of the 70s, when the children were older, he had to leave his job, and moved from family to family, his negatives began to accumulate.

He took photos constantly over five decades, leaving behind more than 100,000 negatives, most of them of Chicago and New York.

She documented the world around her through home movies, recordings, and collections, putting together one of the most fascinating windows into American urban life in the second half of the 20th century.

In his free time, he took photos that he jealously hid from the eyes of others. Taking snapshots in the late 1990s, he would leave behind an immense body of work. His passion for documenting extended to a series of homemade documentaries and audio recordings.

Interesting fragments of America, the demolition of historic landmarks to make way for new development, the invisible lives of various groups of people and homeless people, as well as some of Chicago’s most treasured sites, were meticulously cataloged by Vivian.

She was a free spirit, and a proud soul, who when she ran out of resources was saved by three of the children she had cared for earlier in her life. They fondly remembered Maier as a second mother, and they banded together to pay for her apartment and take care of her.

Unbeknownst to them or anyone else, one of the warehouses where Vivan kept his photographs was auctioned off to pay off his late payments.

There were closets full of those negatives that he kept secretly throughout his life, as well as objects that he found, such as art books, newspaper clippings, home movies, or knick-knacks.

Maier’s enormous body of work would come to light when in 2007 his work was discovered at a local second-hand auction house on Chicago’s northwest side. From there, it would eventually impact the entire world and change the life of the man who championed his work and brought him into the public eye, John Maloof.

Currently, Vivian Maier’s work is being archived.

John Maloof is at the center of this project after reconstructing most of the archive, which had previously been dispersed among the various buyers who attended that auction. Now, with approximately 90% of her archive reconstructed, Vivian’s work is part of a revival in interest in the art of street photography.

«Well, I guess nothing is meant to last forever. We have to accommodate other people. It’s a wheel. You get on, you have to go to the end. And then someone has the same chance to go all the way and so on.” Vivian Maier

color photographs

The change to color occurred from 1965 onwards and was accompanied by a practical change, as he began to work with a Leica, with a viewfinder directly at eye level (unlike the Rolleiflex used until then).

In this way, he directly faces eye contact with others and photographs the world in its colored reality.

His color writing is unique and free.

He explores the specificities of color language in his own way, having fun with reality: he highlights striking details, points out the variegated dissonances of fashion and plays with iridescent counterpoints.

Information that John Maloof has shared on the “Vivian Maier” blog

Pictured are John Maloof (1981) and Tim Roth (1961) attending the opening of the “VIVIAN MAIER: LIVING COLOR” Exhibition on December 1, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Harmony Gerber/Getty Images)

In 1952 he bought his first Rolleiflex camera.

Throughout his career he used Rolleiflex 3.5T, Rolleiflex 3.5F, Rolleiflex 2.8C, Rolleiflex Automat and others.

Later he also used a Leica IIIc, an Ihagee Exakta, a Zeiss Contarex and several other SLR cameras.

I mainly used Kodak Tri-X and Ektachrome films.

Of the 100,000 negatives and slides found, all of them have been digitized into digital contact sheets.

A selection of photographs has been scanned in high resolution, a task that continues.

There are around 700 rolls of Ektachrome 35mm color film that have not yet been processed, they are protected in a refrigerator until they are developed.

Maloof began scanning negatives on an Epson V700, and later with an Imacon 949.

Digital contact sheets were obtained by placing negatives and slides on a light table that was photographed with a Better Light Super 8K-HS scanner.

Colección Maloof

John Maloof is the owner and chief curator of the Maloof Collection.

Howard Greenberg Gallery handles all sales of prints from the Collection. Steve Rifkin of Hank’s Photographic Services makes all gelatin silver prints and Carl Saytor of Luxlab prints all color work.

«John Maloof has come across an unknown artist whose photography is compared to giants, a lonely woman who, in death, is attracting the kind of attention and acclaim she had avoided in life.» Huffington Post

«Maier’s work and biography are starkly moving reminders of how powerfully we all experience our lives, largely in isolation.» – Vanity

«She is now considered a lost master of the form, the Windy City’s own Helen Levitt.» New York Times

1953. Octubre 18. NY

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