woensdag 15 april 2015

Loving Vivian Maier

'Finding Vivian Maier'Yesterday I finally watched the documentary. What a remarkable woman. I loved her work, right from the start, when this film wasn't made yet and Mr. Maloof was still searching for her. Her images are addictive and it's kind a funny that we (I assume most people who love her work feel this too) are waiting for new work to be published as kids waiting for Santa. Excited!!

It was good to see Mr. Maloof's work and effort, as I until now only read about in online. And how very funny that the kids she used to be the nanny of, gave such different destriptions of her. She must have been troubled by deeper thoughts, most likely something happened to her as a child and screwing her head up about men, and life in general too.

"I am a spy" she said. And she most likely meant it. She was a hoarder. Collecting sound (interviewing people in the supermarket) and 8mm film next to all the beautiful photos she took. She was a dark, closed person, but via her work she tells you who she is. It's sad she died poor, but when you learn about the tax payments cheques still being kept in her belongings, I think it's her screwed up head that most likely said "do not take that money from the government". She still lived a fairly free life, no husband, no kids.

Than the story about her newspapers, piles of them, OMG, you've seen people like this before on tv. And nothing may be thrown out, as "It's to be used later". The newspapers she collected were all about dark subjects too, crime, murder, rape. She was always looking for this darker side of society, like taking one of the girls she was babysitting to a slaughter house to take photos and film footage of. Or taking photos first, of the boy who got run over by a car, instead of comforting him being his nanny.

Poor woman. She must have felt not alone, but with too many. She most likely was a bit schitzo, but aren't we all?!? I don't think she felt alone, I think she was just scared. Scared of the big, angry world, and without a parent raising her not to be afraid, she turned out like this. All the kids still remember little off things she did. 'Accidents', but not really.

And she kept taking all these photos. She really was a ZIENer, like me. I see. She sees. It's not the camera, it's her vision. Her vision of the world. And in her case: the darker side of it. As if a lot of things she ran into (on the street) were crazy. To her, the world was a crazy place.

And I feel sad for her. I am a ZIENer who looks for the beauty in life, happiness is there, on every corner, but people don't SEE (it). I can tell you how to see and get positive energy from life, not to be scared of it. The Miksang Contemplative Photography I now teach, helps people to see the positive side of the crazy, mad world. I wish I could've talked to her 20 years ago. I wish I could've inspired her to lighten up, just a little.

The two best moments of the documentary for me were the photos of her world trip, that selfie of her, standing on deck, of a sea ship. That was the first real happy photo of her, with a SMILE and happiness in her eyes. As in a lot of the other selfies she's looking away, or she looks into the camera with that troubled view... Dear Vivian, what on earth was troubling you? What happened that you turned out this dark? Abandoned by her family, or maybe even assaulted?

I wish she could've seen the shows that are here now, with all of her photos. I think the reaction of people to her work would've brightened her day, her mind, her soul. The second best moment of the documentary is the moment in that little French village of her, where her work is exhibited and this fragile, very old lady sees her (diseased) husband in one of the photos. Heart breaking, the way she reacts. And for her daughter who's witnessing this too, a priceless moment! This is a moment they will never forget and think back of with nothing but joy and happiness. Positive energy.

Vivian, you can make people feel like this. I can make people feel like this. It's a gift and I feel sad you weren't able to witness the effect your pictures have on the public. People are moved by your work. It's a valuable historic document, but it's also a very good vision of this crazy world.

Vivian, I love you. I hope you have now found the peace you were looking for. 
Thank you for showing us the world from your eyes.

One of my own 'Vivian Maier' street photos - selfie at Venice Beach 2014

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