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© The Artist

Two works from Gentlemen series, 1981

Karen Knorr (b. 1954)

Held at the threshold

  • Medium:
    Silver bromide prints
  • Dimensions:
    Each 58.5 × 46 cm
  • Collection:
    Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London
  • Coll. No:
    ACC10/1985, ACC9/1985

Produced in London during the 1980s, Karen Knorr’s series Gentleman visualises an enclave of patriarchal privilege. Taken in private gentlemen’s clubs, her photographs explore constructs of power as they relate to race, class and gender, and how these are maintained in these exclusive environments. Both men wear smart suits, but one is dressed for leisure while the other’s uniform implies service. While the Black server is standing straight, the White club member leans against the railing - their body language indicates their different roles, status and sense of ease in the space. Knorr highlights how race, class and gender intersect to influence access to power.

Individual titles as seen from left to right:

Men are interested in Power. Women are more interested in Service 

Whatever a Man’s Social origin, once he has been elected he is looked upon as an Equal by his