Karen Knorr | Chaired by Sutapa Biswas |

Open Lecture


THE GATEKEEPER , Zanana, Samode Palace from INDIA SONG, 2010

This event is free and open to all but places are strictly limited so please RSVP to book your place, by emailing e.pitkin@arts.ac.uk

This event is part of the TrAIN Open Lectures Series and is the fifth in a series of talks organised by Sutapa Biswas at CCW for the graduate programme. The event is in collaboration with the research group, Subjectivities and Feminisms (UAL), and is also generously supported by Film and Video Umbrella (London) and OnFM Radio 101.4.

Karen Knorr is an established artist and Professor of Photography at the University for the Creative Arts. She grew up in Puerto Rico in the 1960’s and has been based in England since 1976. Originally part of the same photographic movement as Sunil Gupta, Mitra Tabrizian, Olivier Richon and Mark Lewis, Karen Knorr has transitioned from her earlier documentary style to one defined by the imaginary. With works recently exhibited in Elles@ Centre Pompidou, this London-based artist is certainly no stranger to the museum space, but it is this very space upon which she fixes her artistic gaze. Photographing arts institutions with one eye trained on the fantastic, Knorr transforms what can often be forbidding, inaccessible, and static into something playful and unexpected (not to mention slightly mischievous). In her recent exhibition titled, Fables, at Musée Carnavalet, Knorr showed her recent series of large format photographs of the museum wherein, all manner of woodland fauna roaming the deluxe apartments of the Musée were pictured; pigeons flutter manically around flawless blue satin, and squirrels climb over 18th-century armoires. In this particular series, Knorr was inspired by the fables written by Aesop and La Fontaine, but in picturing this animal transgression of such a sanctified cultural institution, she is also asks visitors to reconfigure their relationship to the space of the museum itself – to re-invent and re-imagine it. Most recently, in the works India Song, exhibited at Tasveer Arts (Bangalore), New Delhi and traveling to Kolkata and Mumbai, Knorr considers the animal life and the cultural heritage of North India referencing, in particular, the Pancha Tantra and the intricate detail of Mughal painting. India Song, incorporates a rich visual aesthetic found in South Asia and in Puerto Rico, to explore complex questions of caste, femininity, and myth in contemporary India.

At this Event, Knorr will address the context of this body of work India Song, with reference to a narrative and allegorical impulse in photography that arose as responses to debates regarding the politics of representation in Britain in the 1980s.

Karen Knorr’s work, is represented by James Hyman Gallery (London), and Filles du Calvaire Gallery (Paris), where this work will feature in October and November 2011.

Sutapa Biswas is an artist, and Reader at Chelsea College of Art and Design, CCW, UAL.

The Event will be recorded for broadcast purposes, by ONFM Radio 101.4

RSVP to TrAIN Administrator: e.pitkin@arts.ac.uk

Other forthcoming lectures are:
9th March: Briony Fer, ‘Gabriel Orozco: Mobile Work’, Introduced by Oriana Baddeley.

23rd March: Julian Stallabrass in Conversation with Sutapa Biswas.

4th May: Alexandra Handal, Introduced by Oriana Baddeley.

18th May: Michael McMillan, ‘The Kitchen: Memory and Food Cultures’, Introduced by Carol Tulloch.

1st June: TBA.

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    TrAIN Open Series

    The TrAIN Open series is a forum for invited speakers to present exhibition, publication, and research projects in the form of lectures, discussions and screenings.

    Taking place at fortnightly intervals on Wednesday evenings during the academic term, the series is open to the public, as well as staff and students across the University of the Arts London.
    Find out more about TrAIN Open Series