Karen Knorr's India Song

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


THE JOY OF AHIMSA. TAKHAT VILAS. MEHRANGARH FORT. JODHPUR


You’re all invited. Next up at Danziger Gallery is the opening of the Karen Knorr show “India Song” – this Thursday, 6 to 8 p.m..

Knorr, who is a well known artist in England, has been working on different series since the mid 1970s – initially chronicling London’s punk scene, then moving into a combination of social observation and commentary of England’s upper class, and then being increasingly drawn to creating her own tableaux in the interior spaces of historic homes and museums. Knorr’s artistic and conceptual journey is an exemplary model of how one body of work leads to another to build a career. And to cap it off (not that the end is anywhere near) Knorr was just nominated for the 2012 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize - Europe's most prestigious award "for a living photographer who has made the most significant contribution to the medium of photography over the past year".

Much of this acclaim has centered on Knorr’s latest work – a series of Indian tableaux transposing wild animals into the opulent interiors of some of Northern India’s most beautiful private homes and palaces.

Like the pioneering early photographers who found in India a wealth of exotic subject matter, Knorr celebrates the visual richness found in the myths and stories of northern India using sacred and secular sites to highlight caste, femininity and its relationship with the animal world. She considers men's space (mardana) and women's space (zanana) in Mughal and Rajput architecture - be they in palaces, mansions, or mausoleums. These interiors are meticulously photographed with a large format analogue camera. Knorr's own photographs of live animals are then inserted into the diverse rooms and sites, fusing high resolution digital with analogue photography. The results create original and stunning images that reinvent the Panchatantra (an ancient Indian collection of animal fables) for the 21st century and further blur the boundaries between reality and illusion.

Sometimes a show we do takes on a resonance beyond the norm and Knorr’s photographs have certainly provoked this response. We’ve had inquiries (and purchases) from museums and collectors from the minute we posted the work. Come and see for yourselves.



THE QUEEN'S ROOM, ZANANA, UDAIPUR CITY PALACE.



FLIGHT TO FREEDOM, DURBAR HALL, DUNGARPUR.



THE PRIVATE AUDIENCE, AAM KHAS, JUNHA MAHAL, DUNGARPUR.



THE GATEKEEPER, ZANANA, SAMODE PALACE.


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