The discovery of Vivian Maier’s photographs hit the photo world like a bomb in 2009. The story of the hitherto completely unknown photographer, who had made a living as a nanny throughout her lifetime and whose archive had been acquired rather incidentally by a young collector at a foreclosure sale, captured the public’s imagination well beyond the traditional photo audiences. WestLicht brings the works of the US-American photographer (1926-2009) with Austrian roots – her father was born in the former dual monarchy – to Austria for the first time.
Vivian Maier posthumously became a star almost overnight, ranked among the likes of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander or Diane Arbus. Many of her pictures taken in the streets of New York City and Chicago since the 1950s feel like instant classics. With her exquisite eye for the moment and a sublime sense of composition, Maier firmly claims her place in the traditionally male-dominated pantheon of street photography. Her numerous self-portraits in mirrors and shop windows in urban space defy the usual narrative of the genre, which oftentimes is constructed along conventional gender roles and archaic schemes of hunter and prey.
The exhibition Vivian Maier. Street Photographer has been curated by Anne Morin, diChroma Photography, Madrid, and Rebekka Reuter, WestLicht.
Display cases curated by Nadja Köffler, Innsbruck University
>> STEFANIE MOSHAMMER. THERESE 29.05.–19.08.2018