Karen Knorr Research

Karen Knorr’s Gentlemen was photographed in English gentlemen’s clubs in central London. They depict the patriarchal values of the English upper middle classes with text constructed out of speeches of parliament and news.
The text here was totally invented, inspired by clubland literature and speeches of parliament published in the Hansard section of The Times. The uppercase letters of words parody the speech acts of public school educated men but also reference irony. Text adds new meanings that did not exist in the image alone and operates between the text and image. Adding text also prolongs the time that a viewer spends looking and thinking about the work. It slows the consumption of the image. (Boothroyd, 2015)

On first look of the images, I was very disinterested, and it did not feel like something I would choose to look at normally. On reading Knorr’s interview, I can understand the irony that she is trying to depict and think it is very clever. Her use of texts adds meaning to the photographs, and as she says means you spend longer looking at them and thinking about it.


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