Photographer Karen Knorr Brings Indian Myths to Life

If you are an artist interested in how power and politics manifest through art and design, you’ll inevitably find yourself investigating India and its history at some point, just as London-based photographer Karen Knorr recently did. Well read, politically sensitive and a conceptual art-savvy photographer, Knorr has travelled across Northern India since 2008, photographing the interiors of the land’s opulent and colourful old palaces, temples and forts with a large format Sinar camera (in a way that inevitably reminds of Robert Polidori’s Versailles project and of course the oeuvre of Massimo Listri). What makes Knorr’s work stand out however, is the way in which she combines these awe-inspiring interiors — a persistent symbol of princely power and affluence — with the images of local animals, as if the world was turned on its head and the birds, mammals and reptiles of India have taken over. This polysemous and visually captivating body of work, bearing the evocative title India Song, was published last year as a large-format art book by Skira Editore, accompanied by insightful essays and an interview with the artist that elaborate on the concepts and issues behind the whole project.