A few months ago, an eminent Indian judge shared an insight: peacocks are lifelong celibates, and peahens merely drink the tears of a peacock to procreate. Meanwhile, another one expressed his veneration by calling the cow ‘a substitute to Mother and God’. That’s the degree to which our realities are intertwined with myths. Passed down through generations, our reverence for animals is an expression of our psychological, cultural or societal connection with the natural world. The power of our myths lie in the meanings beneath the symbolism.
Karen Knorr’s astonishing photographic allegories elaborate not only on the myths, but also on the philosophy that marks the roots of our culture. She began her 'India Song' series in 2008, after a life-changing trip through Rajasthan. These carefully crafted images take inspiration from the Indian tradition of personifying animals in literature and art, depicting scenarios that are at once otherworldly and surreal. The photographer shot the images herself, and then combined the animals and the interior settings using Photoshop.
Through her collection, Knorr sets us on a journey of artistic interpretation of our animalistic natures. Come, explore.
The Queen's Room, Zanana, Udaipur City Palace, Udaipur
Photographs from the Tasveer Collection
India Song is published by Skira
Images: © Karen Knorr, courtesy Tasveer