Today in music history - August 30, 1994 - Oasis’ debut LP “Definitely Maybe” is released. Happy 20th / LIVE FOREVER to one of my all time favorite albums.
So I have that little Gursky book, “Werke 80-08” and I’ve left it on my desk the last few days, occasionally paging through it… Couple things I’ve noticed, or things that have been reinforced in my mind really is that 1) Gursky really is the best because of the insane attention to detail, and that’s something we can all really learn from, 2) his photos retain just as much power at a very small scale, and in practically making them little vignettes of themselves they become totally different (like one of his Avenue of the Americas photos - I’ve seen it printed at probably 10 feet wide? And I had an incredible emotional reaction to that. At 10 inches, I gloss over it. Conversely stuff I’ve seen big looks better small… It’s weird but a good reminder that photography is about scale and we shouldn’t be afraid to experiment blah blah blah), and 3) the photos are very sensual and evocative - I think the thing that people, or naive fuckheads like me, find appealing in Gursky’s photos are the overall deadpan-ness and how removed they are because of perspective… But the more I look at them, like I said, there’s nothing deadpan about them. I’m not sure “deadpan” is really even a thing, and I’m more than ok with that (so long as the rejection of a clinical aesthetic - photography is a science, after all, measured by certain objective criteria - does not lead to necessarily something obscene like “Lomography” or whatever.
These are fairly incomplete thoughts… just casual observations. FWIW I suppose.
it’s amazing how people can take selfies that feel more aesthetically coherent and RELEVANT than your entire body of work from the last like, ten years.
fuck donald tRUmp.
Well I guess that’s it. Last time I was here a few weeks ago there was still a little bit of the “base” building and cantilevers standing.
(my html editing of this looks really weird on mobile, sorry, need to fix that)
So much good in this article, I wish it went a lot deeper. Hopefully Bannos will expound on everything she says here in her book. I almost want to email her with my questions hoping I’d get some longwinded response… Anyway…
After viewing more than 20,000 of Maier’s negatives and prints, a different photographer emerged for me than the one first presented by John Maloof. I feel intensely uncomfortable with the way that he has presented her personal belongings alongside her photographic history — putting her shoes on display, and laying out her blouses in his movie, for example. I think he’s done a good job of transforming her into a cult figure and fetishizing her objects follows that model.
I think that you’re right in implying that John Maloof has presented himself alongside Vivian Maier throughout her emergence. He has chosen which of her work to share, and he is positioned as her savior.(sidenote on that “savior” quote - that’s what I’m talking about, there needs to be some sort of feminist critique out there about this whole fiasco and how it’s men curating the work of a dead, somewhat socially alienated woman behind closed doors - i need to be more proactive in searching out criticism like that, it has to exist outside of just Bannos)
After the TV program aired, Jeffrey Goldstein and Ron Slattery gave me full access to their collections. I immediately understood that the split-up archive had led to a misunderstanding of her work and motivations. John Maloof has dubbed all of his online Maier presences as “official,” leading to an illusion of definitive authority. But he is wrong about some fundamental things and other specific details because he hasn’t seen the other collections.
After my viewing of the entire Jeffrey Goldstein collection, I disagreed with assertions made about the woman and her work coming from both major collectors’ camps. Goldstein has now collaborated twice on books with Richard Cahan and Michael Williams. I’ve publicly disputed facts and interpretations of her work as presented in their first book. I’m also intent on untangling the twisted facts of Maier’s posthumous emergence; that’s apparently gotten in the way of my access to Maloof’s collection.