Sunday, 19 January 2014

Photographer: Karen Knorr

I've just come across some amazing photography by artist, Karen Knorr. Born in Germany, raised in Puerto Rico and studied in Paris and London, Knorr is well-travelled and the influences come through in her work. 

In her series, Fables, analogue images of museums and heritage sites are mixed with digital photography of live and dead animals in museums, zoos and nature reserves to produce some beautiful imagery. Knorr rearranges classic tales from Aesop, and Ovid with popular culture such as Disney and Attenborough. 

The animals roam freely within human territory, drawing attention to the unbridged gap between nature and culture. Yet the animals seem indifferent to their surroundings, a stranger to the context in which they are inserted. This highlights the immeasurable distance between the two worlds of nature and culture and the 'against nature' character of the museum itself.

I was also impressed by another series, India Song, which was inspired by her travels through Rajasthan in 2008. In these photographs, Knorr explores Rajput and Mughal cultural heritage and its relationship to questions of feminine subjectivity and animality.


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