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Vivian Maier

Exhibitions Art > BOZAR - Centre for Fine Arts
The Self-Portrait and its Double
Over several decades from the early 1950s onward, Vivian Maier (1926-2009) worked as a nanny in New York and Chicago. She meticulously documented the world around her but rarely, if ever, created prints from her negatives, so her work was seen by almost no one during her lifetime. Her entire life was shrouded in anonymity until her body of photographic work came to light in 2007: more than 120,000 negatives, Super 8 and 16 mm films, audio recordings and more, which together form a previously-unexhibited collection that can now be explored for the first time. Her all-consuming photographic efforts eventually made her one of the most celebrated proponents of street photography. We see various recurring themes in her work: street scenes, portraits, the world of children, and a predilection for self-portraits. They are abundant in her work, in a multitude of forms and variations, to the point that it almost becomes a language within her language; a duality. Reflections of her face or her shadow: every Vivian Maier self-portrait is an affirmation of her presence. The self-portraits, more than eighty in number, take us on a journey through the streets of these metropolises.