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Karen Knorr
Karen Knorr
Karen Knorr

Karen Knorr

Country: United States
Birth: 1954

Karen Knorr was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany and was raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico in the 1960s. She finished her education in Paris and London. Karen has taught, exhibited and lectured internationally, including at Tate Britain, Tate Modern, The University of Westminster, Goldsmiths, Harvard and The Art Institute of Chicago. She studied at the University of Westminster in the mid-1970s, exhibiting photography that addressed debates in cultural studies and film theory concerning the ‘politics of representation’ practices which emerged during the late 1970s qnd early 1980s. She is currently Professor of Photography at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham, Surrey.

Karen Knorr produced Belgravia (1979-1981) a series of black and white photographs with ironic and humorous texts that highlighted aspirations, lifestyle and the British class system under the neo liberalist Thatcher era in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Her most well known work called Gentlemen (1981-1983) was photographed in Saint James’s clubs in London and investigated the patriarchal conservative values of Britain during the Falklands war. Karen ’s work developed a critical and playful dialogue with documentary photography using different visual and textual strategies to explore her chosen subject matter that ranges from the family and lifestyle to the animal and its representation in the museum context.

In 1986 her work Connoisseurs used colour to explore connoisseurship regarding authenticity, heritage and art in England. Here she introduced elements and staged events in the architectural interiors of Chiswick House, Osterley Park House and the Dulwich Picture Gallery. The use of text and captioning appeared as a device to slow down consumption of the image and to comment on the received ideas of fine art in museum culture. These strategies still appear in her photography today with digital collage of animals, objects and social actors in museums and architecture challenging the authority and power of heritage sites in Europe and more recently in India.

Academies (1994- 2001), a series of colour photographs taken in academies and museums across Europe, reflects on the relationship between the production of western fine art, its transmission and consumption. The work continues a critical dialogue with conceptual art, visual culture, feminism and animal studies reflecting an engaged interest in theory and its relation to photographic practice. In 1995 the Academies project included video and installation with wall text transfers in order the explore the relationship between art and science in the staging of transgressive performative events and gestures in museums.

Being for Another (1995), an 18 minute video records a young man caressing an 18th century sculpture by Canova in the Victoria and Albert Museum and three lifeclass models enact the lifeclass on the dissecting table of the anatomy theatre of Uppsala University in Lessons (2002). The introduction of a sound glass sculpture with recorded birdsong responded to the furniture and art collection of The Wallace Collection in 2001 synthesizing a 1960’s Pete Seeger song with an actual blackbird’s sound.

In her series Fables (2004-2008) photographs mixes analogue and digital photography playfully reconfiguring tales (Ovid, Aesop La Fontaine) with popular culture (Disney and Attenborough) in museums and heritage sites which include Carnavalet Museum, the Museum of Hunt and Nature in Paris, Chambord Castle and the Conde Museum in Chantilly Castle. The visuality of these photographs is rich with reference to the baroque. In the last section of the work, Knorr interrogated the free flowing space of modern architecture in Corbusier’s Villa Savoye reintroducing life into the modernist aesthetic of a building.

Since her life changing journey to Rajasthan, India in 2008, Karen Knorr’s work continues to explore Rajput and Mughal cultural heritage and its relationship to questions of feminine subjectivity and animality. India Song, a series of carefully crafted photographs explores the past and its relation to India’s contemporary heritage sites across Rajasthan.

Since 2012 Knorr has been visiting Japan to reflect on tradition within contemporary Japan referencing Ukiyo-e prints and folktales connected to Shinto and Buddhist heritage sites.Her first series entitled Monagatari, places animals and humans in temple sites found in Nara, Kyoto, Tokyo and Ohara. Her second related series Karyukai is inspired by the Kano’s 36 portraits of poets also referencing “bijinga” prints of the 17th century. Women photographed by Karen Knorr were asked to compose waka and haiku reflecting on their life and dreams.

Source: karenknorr.com

About India Song
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.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Erwin Olaf
Netherlands
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Olaf has screened video work at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Museum at FIT in New York, and at Nuit Blanche in Toronto with a live score commissioned for his series ‘Waiting’. He has also projected his 30 channel video installation ‘L’Éveil' onto the Hôtel de Ville for Nuit Blanche in Paris, curated by Jean de Loisy (Director, Palais de Tokyo). In March 2018 the Museu da Imagem e do Som in São Paulo hosted a retrospective of his work. In 2019 Shanghai Center of Photography (SCôP) will host a solo exhibition. The Gemeentemuseum The Hague and The Hague Museum of Photography will host an anniversary solo exhibition for Erwin Olaf his 60th birthday, and to celebrate 40 years of photography. In 2019 there will be a new retrospective monograph released, published by Hannibal, Aperture, Xavier Barral and Prestel. Erwin Olaf (born 1959, Hilversum, the Netherlands) lives and works in Amsterdam. Source: www.erwinolaf.com
Diane Fenster
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Pieter Hugo
South Africa
1976
Pieter Hugo was born 1976 and grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. He is a South African photographer who primarily works in portraiture and whose work engages with both documentary and art traditions with a focus on African communities. Hugo is self-taught, having picked up a camera aged 10. He remembers the first image he printed, which was a homeless person in Johannes. After working in the film industry in Cape Town, Pieter Hugo spent a two-year Residency at Fabrica, Treviso, Italy.Hugo has called himself 'a political-with-a-small-p photographer... it's hard not to be as soon as you pick up a camera in South Africa'. He believes that "the power of photography is inherently voyeuristic but I want that desire to look to be confronted." He also states that he is 'deeply suspicious of the power of photography'. Early on in his career he noticed that, "he often found himself being critically scrutinized by the subject he was photographing. It was then that he decided to switch to a larger and more cumbersome format of photography, one that would require negotiating consent and dialogue with the person being photographed - a more sedate and contemplative approach." He is known to use a Hasselblad camera and regularly shoots in the 4x5 format. His influences range from South African photojournalist David Goldblatt to Boris Mikhailov. However, his work reacts against 'the culture of realism that defined South African photography in the struggle years.' Hugo's first major photo collection Looking Aside' consisted of a collection of portraits of people "whose appearance makes us look aside", his subjects including the blind, people with albinism, the aged, his family and himself. Explaining his interest in the marginal he has said, "My homeland is Africa, but I'm white. I feel African, whatever that means, but if you ask anyone in South Africa if I'm African, they will almost certainly say no. I don't fit into the social topography of my country and that certainly fuelled why I became a photographer." This was followed by "RWANDA 2004: VESTIGES OF A GENOCIDE" which the Rwanda Genocide Institute describes as offering "a forensic view of some of the sites of mass execution and graves that stand as lingering memorials to the many thousands of people slaughtered." His most recognized work is the series called 'The Hyena & Other Men' and which was published as a monograph. It has received a great deal of attention. Hugo won first prize in the Portraits section of the World Press Photo 2005 for a portrait of a man with a hyena. In 2007, Hugo received the Standard Bank Young Artist Award 07. Hugo was also working on a series of photographs called 'Messina/Mussina' that were taken in the town of Musina on the border between Zimbabwe and South Africa and which was published as a monograph.[5] At the time Colors magazine asked Hugo to work on an AIDS story and he was fascinated by the marginal aspect of the town. This was followed by a return to Nigeria with 'Nollywood', which consists of pictures of the Nigerian film industry. 'Permanent Error' followed in 2011 where Hugo photographed the people and landscape of an expansive dump of obsolete technology in Ghana. Sean O'Toole writes 'if Nollywood was playfully over-the-top, a smart riposte to accusations of freakishness and racism levelled at his photography..., Permanent Error marks Hugo’s return to a less self-reflexive mode of practice.' In 2011 Hugo collaborated with Michel Cleary and co-directed the video of South African producer/DJ Spoek Mathambo's cover version of Joy Division's She's Lost Control, the fourth single from his album Mshini Wam.Commissioned by Italian luxury label Bottega Veneta, Hugo photographed models Amanda Murphy and Mark Cox for the brand’s spring/summer 2014 campaign, with the images shot in a wood in New Jersey.In the Spring of 2014, Hugo was commissioned by Creative Court to go to Rwanda and capture stories of forgiveness as a part of Creative Court's project Rwanda 20 Years: Portraits of Forgiveness. The project was displayed in The Hague in the Atrium of The Hague City Hall for the 20th commemoration of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. A selection of the photos have also been displayed in New York at the exhibition "Post-Conflict" which was curated by Bradley McCallum, Artist in Residence for the Coalition for the International Criminal Court. Source: Wikipedia
Rémi Chapeaublanc
Self-taught photographer, Rémi Chapeaublanc was destined for a scientific career in bioinformatics. He continued to use the Cartesian approach from this training adding a sensitive, people-centred dimension the day he decided to be a photographer. For his series Gods & Beasts (2011), he crossed Europe and Asia reaching Mongolia. Inside the yurt or outside, at nightfall, he produced portraits of Kazakh nomadic herders and their animals without ever resorting to retouching, despite working in digital. For this most recent series The Last Tsaatan, Rémi Chapeaublanc has chosen to portray a nomadic people again: the Tsaatans, sharing their everyday life, happiness and desire to transmit their skills. About Gods & Beasts A solitary voyage through Europe and Asia, led Rémi Chapeaublanc to Mongolia. The discovery of this country, where Man has not yet desecrated Nature, fed his thinking to create the photographic series Gods & Beasts. In these lands, men and animals depend on ancestral ties that are both sacred and necessary. It is an archaic and visceral relationship in which equivocal domination games are put into questioning. Which are the gods, and which are the beasts? Or rather to whom are they the Gods and for whom are they Beasts? Gods & Beasts consists of raw portraits. While there is an ambiguous hierarchy between men and animals, this series - created outside of a studio, in the original environment - overcomes this cultural order. This work of bringing into the light these relationships - in an almost ceremonial manner - places these Gods and Beasts for once on equal footing. The viewer is thus left the sole judge of the boundary between animal and divine. About The Last Tsaatan What will become of the Tsaatan people? In 2011, Rémi Chapeaublanc set off to find the Tsaatan people, nomadic reindeer herders, straddling the border of Northern Mongolia. Amounting to no more than 282 people in the world, this tribe's way of life has been disrupted by the transformation of its ancestral land into a national park. Hunting, passage and woodcutting are now prohibited there; total bans contradict their centuries-old traditions. Since his first encounter, Rémi Chapeaublanc has continued to go back there, sharing their customs and everyday life for several weeks at a time. With this new photo series, he raises concerns about the future of the Tsaatan people, dealing with the tide of modernity in Mongolia, each year distancing them a little further from their traditional way of life. If the tribe accepts and even laughs at technological progress, it flatly rejects urban life, and opinion is divided regarding tourism. Their life in the Taiga represented absolute freedom. Now it is complex and in particular threatened. Both humane and engaged, this series of photographs is nevertheless graphic with a particularly aesthetical and simple approach. This medium format work, produced traditionally with black and white film and then digitally enhanced, demonstrates the artist's desire to adapt their anachronistic way of life. Rémi Chapeaublanc, who befriended a number of them, now takes the public to task asking: what will be left of the Tsaatan people?
Cao Luning
China
1990
Cao Luning is a street photographer who lives in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China, a city of 8 million people. He only started to do photography 3 years ago and all learnt by himself. For Cao Luning, photography is a means of getting to know and expressing himself. Just like the saying "You are what you read", he also believes "You are what you shoot". He's extremely crazy about Street, Travel and Documentary photography, and the uncertainty and infinite possibilities of them fascinate him. They are just similar to life, you never know what you are going to get tomorrow. You may capture some nice shots, or you might come back empty-handed. Street photographer is his identity. Cao Luning is a street wanderer and likes to watch people. He can linger on the streets all day long without feeling tired or fed up. When he shoots, he focuses on the serendipity of specific colors, light and shadows, gestures and the implied humor of scenes. Cao Luning reckons framing is crucial to a good photograph, and he's been greatly influenced by Henri Cartier-Bresson and his "The Decisive Moment Theory", which He thinks is something that every photographer should pay attention to. His mentors are Mangum Photographer Alex Webb and his wife Rebecca Norris Webb, and they both helped him a lot in developing his own vision. In his opinion, given different situations and scenarios, a good street photographer should swiftly apply different compositions that best suit the scenes, instead of using one or two methods for all situations, because that's not a creative process, it's just mechanical repetitions. Statement I'm a street photographer who started to do photography 3 years ago. For me, photography is a means of getting to know and expressing myself. Just like the saying "You are what you read", I also believe "You are what you shoot". I'm extremely crazy about Street, Travel and Documentary photography, and the uncertainty and infinite possibilities of them fascinate me. They are just similar to life, you never know what you are going to get tomorrow. You may capture many nice shots, or you might come back empty-handed. I'm a street wanderer and I like to watch people. I can linger on the streets all day long without feeling tired or fed up. When I shoot, I focus on the serendipity of specific colors, light and shadows, gestures and the implied humor of scenes. I reckon framing is crucial to a good photograph, and I've been greatly influenced by Henri Cartier-Bresson and his "The Decisive Moment Theory", which I think is something that every photographer should pay attention to. In my opinion, given different situations and scenarios, a good street photographer should swiftly apply different compositions that best suit the scenes, instead of using one or two methods for all situations, because that's not a creative process, it's just mechanical repetitions. Most of the works I submitted were shot during the pandemic in China.. On January 2020, The New Coronavirus Pneumonia (or COVID-19) outbroke in Wuhan, Hubei Province in China and soon spread all over the country. As a result, the Chinese government locked down the whole country, stopped all production activities, restricted intercity transportation, and people were advised not to go outside. I live in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, a city of 8 million people, and when it was shut down, it was a bit like a ghost town in the beginning, not completely empty, but hard to find people on the streets. However, I found out by the Yangtze River and some parks, there are some citizens. People would go fishing, do sports, exercise or simply relax. So I often go to those places with my camera, trying to capture their life under the influence of Coronavirus. The virus has pressed the pause button for most of us, though it's not a good thing, objectively speaking, it gives us a good opportunity to look inside and review our living states. It offers us a window to slow down and appreciate all the good and beautiful things around us as well. In the meantime, we are also given the possibility to do the things that we always wanted to do. We should cherish it and live in the moment, despite how dreadful the epidemic situation might be, life has to go on. I hope you'll enjoy my works and get to know me better by them.
Vladimir Nosalskiy (Lenin)
Russia Federation
1973
I was born in USSR on June 10-th 1973. My pseudonyms in arts is Lenin. Back there our country was far from being open towards new ways of self-expression such as modern art, creative photography or so. For a long time everything people could percept from art and culture has been gray and monotonous. My childhood passed in criminal district. However, both of my parents are self-educated artists. I am sure that my ability to see beauty in ordinary, routine things originates from my family. Photography itself appeared in my life when I was 10.With my father's camera Zenith; I discovered all the nearby corners of my district, all the parks and squares. When I was teenager, the only way to make surrounding world more beautiful was to go studying as a tailor, which was the only creative profession in our town back there. During Perestroika Russia moved from cultural aspects of governmental policy into market economy, which made a life of an artist hard. I built into the system by creating decorations and shows for governmental and business events. However, I always missed the camera, it was my companion everywhere. I took pictures of the art plans, events, nature, city and travel. However, my comeback to real inspirational photoshoots happened several years ago. "Contemplate, create, enjoy" - has become my moto since I was young. I had several personal exhibitions art & photo: 1999, "26 steps", Moscow, Russia, 2000, "Cocoon-2000", Moscow, Russia. And several group exhibitions 1999, "Kazantip", "Kazantip-2" The exhibition of young artists "Lenin i Deti", Moscow, Russia, 2016, "Planet Moscow 2016" , Moscow, Russia. My inspiration in photography and arts are: Alexander Rodchenko, Auguste Rodin, Billy Monk, Claude Monet, Francisco Josè de Goya, Hieronymus Bosch, Ivan Bilibin, Jackson Pollock, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Leonardo da Vinci, René Magritte, Vladimir Tatlin, Wassily Kandinsky.
Sasha Stone
Russia/United States
1895 | † 1940
Sasha Stone (1895-1940) was born Aleksander Serge Steinsapir in St. Petersburg, Russia, of Jewish parents. He lived and worked in Europe and America between the wars and is best known for his portraits, nude studies, photographs of Berlin and for his photojournalism. Stone studied engineering in Warsaw, and then spent several years in New York, where he obtained American citizenship and chose the pseudonym Sasha Stone. After a sculptor and painter education in Paris and Berlin, Stone described himself as an expert in the fields of advertising, architecture, illustration, film, and stage design. In the 1920s, Sasha Stone worked as a professional photographer in Berlin, primarily for the illustrated magazines published by the Ullstein publishing house. He belonged to the circle around the constructivist periodical "G", which included Moholy-Nagy, Mies van der Rohe, El Lissitzky and Walter Benjamin. He created the photomontage for the original book jacket of Benjamin's famous Einbahnstraße (One-Way Street) - which is still used for the English Penguin edition. In 1929, Stone published Berlin in Pictures, which is extremely difficult to find today. Both, his and his wife Cami's photographs were published in the German photography annual Das Deutsche Lichtbild. Threatened by the rising Fascism, they fled Germany in 1932 and moved to Brussels. Their studio was located at 18 rue de Naples until the German invasion of Belgium in 1940. Sasha Stone's nude work appeared in Les Femmes, and was published by Editions Arts et Metiers Graphiques, Paris, in 1933. His nudes are usually in poses that are quite modernist in sensibility, and the lighting emphasizes their sculptural shapes and angles. The couple separated in 1939. Cami again assumed her maiden name. Sasha died in 1939 during his flight to the United States in Perpignan. 800 photos of the archive of Cami and Sasha Stone, lost until recently, were auctioned in Argenteuil, France, in 2009. Cami Stones nephew had rescued the archive during World War II and stored it until last year.
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