Karen Knorr, Marks of Distinction

Karen Knorr’s work is similarly laden with irony. Her images are also of the documentary style (recall the depression-era interiors of Evans), as well as bearing some resemblance to Arbus’s subjects posing in their homes. In this case the freaks are the aristocratic and wealthy classes.

I like the way she has presented each square image on a separate plate and combined with text – apparently either from the subjects themselves or from some Victorian book of ‘standards’. The whole is very revealing, and although it could be seen as a damning indictment of the rich, they probably see nothing wrong with their views or the way in which they are presented (otherwise why on earth would they agree to participate?). This is another good example of using image and text, and I think it works very well – it is unpretentious and not stylized in any way, as well as doing what all good art should do, which is to make the viewer think.


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