Learning Log,  Research

Karen Knorr – Belgravia

Anything that involves people in their normal everyday surroundings instantly resonates with me. But this series intrigued me further due to the use of quotes within the series.

Often when I look at images any accompanying blurb is just as interesting to me as the image itself. Sometimes it answers questions I have about the piece, sometimes it poses more. This falls into the latter, and I enjoyed reading the quotes and thinking more about the images.

  • Were the subjects interviewed to give these responses?
  • What were they asked if so?
  • Where the questions the same for each subject?
  • Are these quotes even from the person we’re seeing?

I also like the anonymity; the subjects aren’t introduced. As a viewer we get to draw our own conclusions and views about the person in the photograph based on their quotes.

I also like how each image stands alone as a piece along with the text, but works as a complete series also. I also like that the series includes images in a variety of settings and a handful of photographs do not even include a person at all, so we can draw no conclusions about the subject from how they look.

But for me the real interest comes from the text. Some of the text seems to draw comparisons to the photo. For example the text which says “The ideal Woman must be a mirror reflection of myself”, and in the image the Woman on the TV (Marilyn Monroe – considered by many to be the ‘ideal woman’) reflects the angle and even expression of the man reclined in the chair.

I wondered how I could use this in my own work. At first this seemed like an obvious method to apply to my original thought of a series of portraits. But I then thought it could be applied to my current series.

I have been struggling to think how I might be able to pull my series together as the photographs are all quite different from each other and may work better as a collection of stand alone images. I think using quotes from my family during “Lockdown” could work well with the photographs to provide a narrative. The question is, how do best use this? Do I interview my family about their lockdown thoughts and experiences? Do I listen out for little golden quotes from them going forward? Can I place related quotes with corresponding images? Would this change the narrative of the image? I don’t yet know but I like the thought of exploring this idea and will be noting down things I overhear from now on.

Top takeaways:

  • A collection of images in a series do not have to have to be consistent in subject or setting.
  • The narrative of an image can be changed with the addition of text.
  • You do not need to explain everything in the image to the viewer. Allow them to draw their own conclusions.

Knorr, K. (1979-1981) Belgravia [Black and White Silver Bromide Prints on Ilford Paper] At: https://karenknorr.com/photography/belgravia/ (Accessed on 26/05/2020).

Belgravia | Karen Knorr ( 1979-1981 ) At: https://karenknorr.com/photography/belgravia/ (Accessed 26/05/2020)

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