An exhibition by David Bernstein
With guest works by: Ineke van der Burg, Liu Chao-tze, Rosa Sijben, Marco Lampis, Self Luminous Society, and 900 Stig featuring Indridi.
The exhibition The Water Party by David Bernstein (1988, San Antonio, Texas) takes the artist’s eponymous text published in Metropolis M as a starting point to imagine the presentation of a fictional political party that propagandizes the social, spiritual and philosophical value of water to our society. A Tale of a Tub is transformed back into its historical function of acommunal public bath house and meeting place. This aspect is of great importance to Bernstein, whose work is about meeting with people and sharing ideas. His installations usually possess a performative character, whereby the audience is the viewer, listener and participant at the same time.
On the ground floor he has installed a big wooden hot tub where visitors are invited to bathe and melt, soaking knowledge together, returning to the warmth of the womb. The tub not only refers to the Japanese ofuro (soaking tub) and Mikvah (Jewish ritual bath), but it also carries a deep connection with his mother and grandmother who share a love of baths. Along with this embodied practice, artworks are presented which promote the fluid ideals of The Water Party such as: matriarchy, collaboration, divine holding, sharing pain as a form of resilience, and soul-flooding (instead of brainstorming).
Many of the pieces presented come from collaborations or from friends as he sees the act of invitation as an extension of his individual practice. Some works are presented on top of other works and some join a collection taking on a new temporary title and role. This expresses his belief in the flexibility of objects and meaning. In this sense, water is taken as a metaphorical starting point, an intuitive process for finding relationships between things. At it’s core, The Water Party asks you to believe in the other, the unknown, and the things we don’t completely understand. When leaving the exhibition, one might find themselves humming a katschy (kitschy catchy) song from the seventies, (They Long to Be) Close to You, by the Carpenters. This is chosen as the party’s anthem because being together intimately, compassionately, and spiritually is their main message.
Every other Sunday, a listening session is organized with an invited host.
22 September – Myriam Lefkowitz
06 October – Liu Chao-tze
20 October – Viktorija Rybakova
3 November – Paoletta Holst
Don’t forget to bring your swimsuits and towels!
This exhibition is made possible with the support of the City of Rotterdam and the Mondriaan Fund.