2010/11/15 - 2010/11/18



Coordination: Ramón Esparza

Given by Karen Knorr

Date: 15 - 18 November

Times: 10 - 14 / 16 - 20

Participants: 15 maximum

Inscription deadline: 8 November. Send your personal data with your CV and a motivation letter to

For modernist theory, the direct connection between image and referent is the differentiating element as compared to other visual media such as painting or drawing. It is a connection that is established between the image and a specific object, not between the image and the class it belongs to. The most immediate conclusion is the resistance of photography to symbolism; the deflationary nature which, in the words of Régis Durand (Le temps de l’image), makes it adhere to the singular and impedes the distancing required by symbolism for it to work.

The most direct consequence of this theory of the referential in the field of photography is the promotion of those poetics which centre on the presentation of the object or on the conditions of the production of the image themselves and its close relationship with what is temporary. However, other authors, such as Craig Owens, point to precisely the allegorical use of photography as one of the defining practices of postmodernity. In his Allegorical impulse, Owens says that this approach is one of the features of postmodern art and clearly as a reaction to modernist photography, until then geared towards a documentary aesthetic. Whereas this sets out to signify what it shows, the allegory establishes a second level of meaning, where what is shown and what it intends to say diverge.

In this seminar, Karen Knorr approaches her work in relation to the museum and the link between the photographic image and the artistic traditions of the 18th century. Painting from that time remains firmly rooted in the values of academicism, understood as an artistic expression of a rationalism that sets out to impose its disciplinarian spirit on all areas of life and knowledge. The categorising zeal of the encyclopaedists would lead to the attempt to classify the arts, the establishment of pictorial ideals and the creation of the museum, a place where works of art are deposited and classified. Knorr carries out her work as a reflection on these principles and on artistic language, developed by classical art and the way that contemporary society relates to it, in highly different terms to those put forward originally.

Dokumentu Akzioak