Parlor Tricks for Summoning the Devil

Site specific installation

Mad Space & Emmerson Dorsch Gallery 

EDG Projects in collaboration with BAD Space presents Parlor Tricks for Summoning the Devil, a site-specific installation by Miami artist Philip Lique fusing his interests in history, myth, and magic. With skilled craft, Lique creates a vortex where the past and present collide with the arcane. Combining synthetic materials with traditional modes of artmaking and craft, the artist constructs a space reminiscent of a 17th-century parlor room, inviting viewers to sit and be entertained while they take turns engaging with objects which might summon the unknown.

With his installation, Lique invites viewers to feel welcome and constructs a space that is conducive to feelings of comfort and good-natured fun. Deploying methods also used in retail display strategies, he pastiches symbols collected from spiritualist parlor games and USA’s histories of rebellion. As visitors navigate his maze it’s likely they will arrange themselves into ritual positions with the person who plays the game in the maze’s center. Here, one might summon a ghost or a past. Lique asks, “What happens if the game is successful, and the devil actually appears?” It is possible that magic can happen at the point where the forces of persuasion, objects with meaning and historical visualization converge. His desire to “make the viewer feel welcome” combined with his use of retail merchandising strategy reveals the artist’s underlying critique. All this stuff is fun until it isn’t.