Geneva Photo Biennale
25 September – 10 October 2021
This year’s exhibition entitled Animalities is proposed by Irène Attinger (former head) of the library of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, and curator and Jörg Brockmann (director of the Espace) JB Gallery and co-founder of the Espace JB Association. On the occasion of No’Photo 2021, Arcoop Wall Project (AWP) for its second edition will take over the premises of the Arcoop cooperative, a five story historic industrial building showcasing the works of twenty photographers including Karen Knorr.
The 21st century, renewed reflection on the diversity of living beings has generalised the idea that man is not the centre of the world and that his existence is not the end of evolution. Ethology and cognitive science have shown that the existence of sometimes complex cultures is not specific to our species but is found in many other animals. The animals represented in the different series belong to all sorts of species, real, fantasized, metaphorical or even artificial beings. They are wild, bred or domesticated, free or captive. Alive exhibited they are prolific, rare, endangered. Dead they serve as food, trophies, decorative objects or fetishes. They are familiar, irritating, reassuring or worrying. The exhibition does not propose an answer to the questions raised by the relationship between man and other animals, but invites reflection and possibly contributes to the development of the visitor’s own opinion.
Karen Knorr’s series India Song focuses on the architectural splendour and caste culture of Rajasthan. The birds and mammals inserted into the photographs link the Ramayana culture of northern India with allegorical representations of femininity and masculinity by creating “visual” disturbances in the private rooms of the palaces. Using the artistic tools of the 21st century – the camera and the computer – she references ancient Rajasthani art forms and myths and reworks them into contemporary artworks.