Conegliano, on display 93 self-portraits by Vivian Maier to trace the work of the nanny-photographer

In Conegliano, at the Palazzo Sarcinelli venue, the work of Vivian Maier will be traced through 93 self-portraits by the famous nanny-photographer. March 23 through June 11, 2023.

From March 23 to June 11, 2023, Palazzo Sarcinelli in Conegliano (Treviso) will host the exhibition Vivian Maier. Shadows and Mirrors, curated by Anne Morin in collaboration with Tessa Demichel and Daniel Buso and organized by ARTIKA in synergy with diChroma Photography and the City of Conegliano.

The exhibition will present ninety-three self-portraits, through which it is intended to tell the story of the great photographer and her relentless quest to find meaning and a definition of her own being.

The exhibition traces the work of the famous nanny-photographer who, through the Rolleiflex camera and later with the Leica, transported visitors through the streets of New York and Chicago.

Vivian Maier photographed for more than forty years, beginning in the early 1950s, while working as a nanny in New York and Chicago. She spent her entire life in complete anonymity until 2007, when her body of photographs was discovered. A huge corpus consisting of more than 120,000 negatives, super 8 and 16mm film, several sound recordings, some photographic prints and hundreds of rolls of film and undeveloped film. Her hobby ended up making her one of the most acclaimed representatives of street photography.

The exhibition at Palazzo Sarcinelli will thus explore Vivian Maier’s theme of self-portraiture from her early work in the 1950s through the late 20th century. A large body of works characterized by great expressive variety and complexity of technical achievement.

His aesthetic investigations can be traced to three key categories, which correspond to the three sections of the exhibition. The first is entitled SHADOW. Vivian Maier adopted this technique using the projection of her own silhouette. It is probably the most recognizable of all the types of formal research she used. The shadow is the form closest to reality; it is a simultaneous copy. It is the first level of a self-representation, since it imposes a presence without revealing anything of what it represents. Through REFLECTION (reflection), to which the second section is devoted, the artist manages to add something new to photography through the idea of self-representation. Maier employs different and elaborate ways to place herself on the boundary between the visible and the invisible, the recognizable and the unrecognizable. Her features are blurred, something interposes itself in front of her face, opens to an off-screen or transforms before our eyes. His face escapes us but not the certainty of his presence at the moment the image is captured. Each photograph is itself an act of resistance to his invisibility. Finally, the section devoted to the MIRROR (mirror), an object that often appears in Vivian Maier’s images. It is fragmented or placed in front of another mirror or positioned in such a way that her face is projected onto other mirrors, in an endless cascade. It is the instrument through which the artist confronts her own gaze.

“The late discovery of Vivian Maier’s work, which could easily have disappeared or even been destroyed, was almost a contradiction. It involved a complete reversal of her destiny, because thanks to that discovery, a simple Vivian Maier, the nanny, managed to become, posthumously, Vivian Maier the photographer,” the curator writes in the exhibition presentation.

For info:

Image: Vivian Maier, Self-Portrait, 1959, detail © Estate of Vivian Maier. SSon kind permission of Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York.

Conegliano, on display 93 self-portraits by Vivian Maier to trace the work of the nanny-photographer
Conegliano, on display 93 self-portraits by Vivian Maier to trace the work of the nanny-photographer

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