Daniel Knorr
Conceptually stringent and at the same time free with regard to choice of medium and style, the work of Daniel Knorr spans the last 15 years as a succession of context-specific and mostly ephemeral projects. He has employed such diverse techniques and formats as the use of found objects, appropriation, task-based performance, alteration of the existing architecture or infrastructure of exhibition and public spaces, photography, sculpture, construction of mechanical and electronic devices or robots, text, cartoons, artist books and magazines, and many others. Once subversive, during the last half-century these ways of working with existing cultural material have been gradually sanctioned as parts of the high-culture repertoire in the practice of many artists, to the effect that their anti-bourgeois edge is no longer there and their origin appears difficult to trace.

Knorr adapts and substantially redesigns the avant-garde techniques as means to work politically within the context of contemporary society. The artist often operates from within the gaps that are created by specific local conditions that do not yet fully conform to the ideal of global distribution of economic and political power, in which access (to information and money) or the lack thereof, define new borders. Knorr’s works elaborate, privilege and feed from diverse phenomena typical of economic underdevelopment and vernacular culture, such as common use of analogue technologies aided with basic electronics, broad acceptance of piracy and bribe, presence of regressive behaviors, a taste for oddities, predominance of simple makeshift and provisional solutions over the ‘hip’, new and high-end, co-existence of old and new rituals and (skeptical) trust in the wisdom of folklore.

The organizing principle behind many of Knorr’s works [...] seems to be that of anagrammatic recoding of meanings of artifacts, functions of tools and their modes d’emploi, as well as redefining the relationship between these objects and the social and cultural phenomena that produced them. The result is that things and names no longer hold together in immutable combinations as they used to in our nominalist world of deictic definitions, but instead they enter a new type of rapport founded on joke, disjunction and irony.     




Excerpts taken from:

Adam Szymczyk, “The High, the Low, and the Odd” in: Daniel Knorr - Led R. Nanirok. ed. by Adam Szymczyk, Bogdan Ghiu, Dieter Roelstrate. Zurich: JRP Ringier, 2009.


1968, București / RO



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