Karen knorr, an american, 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 the university of westminster, goldsmiths college and the art institute of chicago. She currently teaches photography at the university college of creative arts in farnham, surrey, england, famous for having developed a new vernacular documentary style photography with eminent contemporary photographers such as martin parr, anna fox paul seawright, keith arnatt and eileen perrier. Karen knorr studied at the university of westminster, a contemporary of olivier richon, mitra tabrizian, and mark lewis whose photography addressed the critical debates concerning the ‘politics of representation’, practices which emerged during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s in england.
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.