Vivian Maier's Chicago
Vivian Maier was a suburban nanny who, unbeknown to her employers, was a remarkable street photographer. Around the time of her death a few years ago, some 100,000 negatives were found in a storage locker. Since then, The New York Times, Time Magazine and countless others have been telling her story. The Chicago History Museum approached teller|madsen to design what became an art installation in a history museum. A series of 45" square photos, suspended by cables from a grid in the ceiling, forms the central core of the gallery. Visitors wander through the space, encountering her images which we have carefully sequenced. Bits and pieces of other images peek through; other museum visitors are also glimpsed as they view the exhibit, in effect putting the visitor in street photography mode. The surrounding walls feature a 5" high continuous strip of 18 rolls of her photos--like a single frame contact sheet. A soundtrack contains period sounds (car horns, train sounds) along with jazz of the time. The exhibit was to be up for 5 months. It was on exhibit for 5 years.