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Knock Knock

Start Date 08 December 2022
End Date 11 December 2022
Venue Season Gallery, 81 Brick Lane
Location London, UK
Curator Felix Choong
Designer Rory Mullen
Exhibitors: 1000Morceaux, Cha Myung, Comme Des Garçons, Gui Rosa, Issey Miyake, James Walsh, Junya Watanabe, Miss Corpus, Per Gotesson, Rebecca Jeffs, Sheryn Akiki, VeniceW, Vivienne Westwood
A dressed mannequin in front of a white shed type building
Mannequin in red dress in front of brick wall
Two dressed mannequins in front of a brick wall under the sloped roof of an attic room
Two mannequins in front of a brick wall with fireplace

Home is where the heart is.

‘Knock Knock’ is an exhibition of fashion and textile curated by Felix Choong that continues
Peter Galassi’s exploration of the home in Pleasures and Terrors of Domestic Comfort held
at MoMA in 1991. Across more than 150 photographs, the suburban home and its surfaces
were captured and here the exploration is localised in garments. The notion of ‘comfort’
conjures to mind the padded weight and caresses of soft furnishings on skin, but also the
economic security that it affords.The scenes depicted in Galassi’s exhibition are at first
glance enviable in their wealth and ornamentation, but on closer inspection many are filled
with an undercurrent of ambiguous dread and fear. Loneliness, anxiety, desire all permeate
these otherwise idyllic rooms. Families are seen together, but disengaged from one another.
A young woman getting dressed in the chaos of her overturned bedroom. A man’s face
illuminated by the fridge light, disenchanted by its offerings. These photographs highlight the
demise of privacy, the loneliness of late capitalism, and the significance of image culture in
shaping our perceptions of society and the individuals that make it up.

Within the space, garments are presented in lieu of photographs, exploring the tension
between pleasure, comfort and lurking threat. Ideas surrounding conflict, gender, labour,
excess, childhood, comfort, shelter and that thick blanket of sentimentality we like to bury
ourselves under are all ruminated on. Soft furnishings and trinkets left behind by a
grandmother become a tribute to her memory — her doilies reborn as delicate garments. A
toy plane complete with whirring propeller ceases to represent childhood imagination and
freedom, but is instead cumbersome, restrictive and stifling. Elsewhere, our incessant desire
for comfort results in tumourous appendages bulging softly across the hips and torso. A
mother’s fur coat and pearl necklaces become a bourgeois cilice. Swatches of antique
upholstery reminiscent of old curtains create a window, framing the exposed back of the
wearer — the cutout represents an exercise in personal and domestic exhibitionism. Buttons
become an emotional archaeology signifying our hoarder-like tendencies: they swarm the
body en masse covering a jacket, skirt and tights. An ensemble of distressed printed linens
constructed using military techniques appears put together in a rush, conveying the threat of
displacement and having to leave your home at a moment’s notice.

Taking its name from the eponymous children’s jokes, ‘Knock Knock’ situates the front door
as a gateway, but also a barrier. The home is meant to be a cocoon against the troubles of
the world, yet behind closed doors these spaces present us with intimacies, connections and
altercations that must be reckoned with whether we want to or not. The artist, Rory Mullen,
was invited to build a rudimentary house within the space. Constructed from salvaged wood
and other throwaways, the house is an extension of our being. Rather than build a perfect
replica, this house’s crude assemblage is a parody of keeping up appearances, the veneer
has been scraped away to reveal the identities we attempt to consolidate through our homes
are merely façades.

Pleasure, belonging, comfort and the pathological projections of each are embedded in one
another, our perspective twisting and changing according to the slant of light.1  These
garments are snapshots into our own lives, the ones that we exhibit and the ones that we


Press Release

Imagery courtesy of Felix Choong