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Knock Knock

£6.00 / Sold Out

In 1744 Emanuel Swedenborg had what he called a 'spiritual awakening'. He claims to have out-of-body experiences where he would find himself communing with angels and other holy figures. They fed him very radical ideas, like universal suffrage and an end to slavery. Would these ideas have been taken so seriously if they hadn't come from such divine sources? Were these ideas and teachings presented in this way so that they were more palatable to the establishment? Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for presidency of the USA, also had to present her own radical ideas as spiritually guided. Claiming she learnt them in seances, communicating with the likes of Plato. Is knowledge acceptable only when it flexes to shape and fit into the established order and what if it doesn't?

Recorded in the Swedenborg House in London, 2014, Knock Knock presents an audio of Phill Wilson-Perkin Knocking on every door in the building. The unrhythmical pace of the knocking is set by the artists own pace as he walks from door to door. Made after Manos Tsangaris' Pfahle, 1981, were Tsangaris followed the route of a religious procession, chiming all the metal street furniture on his way. Here Wilson-Perkin cynically uses the language of Swedenborgs spiritualism (the disembodied knocking of a séance) to communicate with the unseen and unknown, looking for knowledge. Knock Knock, but nobody asks “whose there?”. Maybe the keepers of knowledge have moved on from spirituality to something more expensive and private.

7” record with audio on side A and engraving on side B

Using sculpture, sound recordings and live performance Phill Wilson Perkin explores the aesthetics used to bolster cultural systems. Examining there adoption or vilification through popular and counter cultural tropes and institutional frameworks. He often works collaboratively with other artist, most recently with musician Samantha Taylor. Wilson-Perkin lives and works in London.