Karen Knorr

India Song2008-2012

  • Flight to Freedom, Juna Mahal, Dungarpur
    Flight to Freedom, Juna Mahal, Dungarpur
  • The Witness, Humayun's Tomb, Delhi
    The Witness, Humayun's Tomb, Delhi
  • The Queen's Room, Zenana, Udaipur
    The Queen's Room, Zenana, Udaipur
  • The Gatekeeper, Samode Palace, Samode
    The Gatekeeper, Samode Palace, Samode
  • Waiting for Atman, Junagarh Fort, Bikaner
    Waiting for Atman, Junagarh Fort, Bikaner
  • The Sound of Rain, Junagarh Fort, Bikaner
    The Sound of Rain, Junagarh Fort, Bikaner
  • The Private Audience, Aam Khas, Juna Mahal, Dungarpur
    The Private Audience, Aam Khas, Juna Mahal, Dungarpur
  • The Conqueror of the World, Podar Haveli, Nawalgarh
    The Conqueror of the World, Podar Haveli, Nawalgarh
  • The Messenger, Purana Qila, Delhi
    The Messenger, Purana Qila, Delhi
  • The Avatars of Devi, Samode Palace, Samode
    The Avatars of Devi, Samode Palace, Samode
  • A Place like Amravati, Udaipur City Palace, Udaipur
    A Place like Amravati, Udaipur City Palace, Udaipur
  • The Maharaja's Apartment, Udaipur City Palace, Udaipur
    The Maharaja's Apartment, Udaipur City Palace, Udaipur
  • The Survivors, Deogarh Palace, Deogarh
    The Survivors, Deogarh Palace, Deogarh
  • Disccussions Concerning Rasa, Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
    Disccussions Concerning Rasa, Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
  • The Joy Of Ahimsa, Takhat Vilas, Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
    The Joy Of Ahimsa, Takhat Vilas, Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
  • The Return of the Hunter, Jaipur Palace, Jaipur
    The Return of the Hunter, Jaipur Palace, Jaipur
  • The Inheritor, Moti Mahal, Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
    The Inheritor, Moti Mahal, Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
  • Durga's Mount, Juna Mahal, Dungarpur
    Durga's Mount, Juna Mahal, Dungarpur
  • Bhakti, Path of Sants, Shiva Temple, Hampi
    Bhakti, Path of Sants, Shiva Temple, Hampi
  • Attaining Moksha, Ajanta Caves, Ajanta
    Attaining Moksha, Ajanta Caves, Ajanta
  • Becoming Arihanta, Sahastrabahu Temple, Gwalior
    Becoming Arihanta, Sahastrabahu Temple, Gwalior
  • The Palaiyakkarars, Hazarama Temple, Hampi
    The Palaiyakkarars, Hazarama Temple, Hampi

Karen Knorr’s past work from the 1980’s onwards took as its theme the ideas of power that underlie cultural heritage, playfully challenging the underlying assumptions of fine art collections in academies and museums in Europe through photography and video. Since 2008 her work has taken a new turn and focused its gaze on the upper caste culture of the Rajput in India and its relationship to the "other" through the use of photography, video and performance. The photographic series considers men's space (mardana) and women's space (zanana) in Mughal and Rajput palace architecture, havelis and mausoleums through large format digital photography.

Karen Knorr celebrates the rich visual culture, the foundation myths and stories of northern India, focusing on Rajasthan and using sacred and secular sites to consider caste, femininity and its relationship to the animal world. Interiors are painstakingly photographed with a large format Sinar P3 analogue camera and scanned to very high resolution. Live animals are inserted into the architectural sites, fusing high resolution digital with analogue photography. Animals photographed in sanctuaries, zoos and cities inhabit palaces, mausoleums , temples and holy sites, interrogating Indian cultural heritage and rigid hierarchies. Cranes, zebus, langurs, tigers and elephants mutate from princely pets to avatars of past feminine historic characters, blurring boundaries between reality and illusion and reinventing the Panchatantra for the 21st century.