The usual aim of the fable is to teach a lesson by drawing attention to animal behaviour and its relationship to human actions and shortcomings. Animals in fables speak metaphorically of human folly, criticizing human nature. Yet it seems that the nature of Karen Knorr’s work has another aim. In Knorr’s “Fables” the animals are not dressed up to resemble humans nor do they illustrate any explicit moral. Liberated, they roam freely in human territory drawing attenton to the unbridged gap between nature and culture. They encroach into the domain of the museum and other cultural sanctuaries which resolutely forbids their entry.
Within the spaces of the Royal Academy Schools in London, the Royal Academy of Art in Stockholm, and the Repin Institute in St Petersburg, Knorr reflects upon the relationship between the production of western art in the academy and the transmission and reproduction of such ideas through the museum. The series explores the foundation myths of European fine art culture and the link to national identity and patrimony.