Questions (After Brecht) Published by GOST Books, Now Available
Karen Knorr’s eighth monograph Question (After Brecht) published by GOST Books is now available to order online via GOST and Karen Knorr’s website. Karen Knorr photographed the building site of the disused Parisian Art-Deco Department store, La Samaritaine, in the summers of 2017 and 2018. In this new book, the resulting photographs, transformed with solarisation and infused with playful fantasy and surrealism are accompanied by lines from Brecht’s poem: Questions from a Worker Who Reads (1935). The book includes an email interview with David Campany.
“These photographs record and document a labour in progress, yet the construction workers have exited and the building is built as if by magic. The actual physical labour is here embedded in a process of reification which creates an effect so well described by Guy Debord in Society of the Spectacle, 1967: ‘The spectacle is not a collection of images; rather, it is a social relationship between people that is mediated by images.’ The images here transformed by solarised colour evoke the retail shops and designer goods valued over and beyond material labour. Brecht’s poem reminds us how history enhances the reputations of kings and leaders to the detriment of ordinary people and workers.”
Karen Knorr, 2020