To Half Sell A Duck
David Bernstein (He/Him, 1988, San Antonio, Texas) is an artist based in Brussels and Amsterdam. He is a linguistic, metaphysic, mystical lunatic, and likes to play with words. Bernstein makes objects and finds ways to activate them with storytelling performances. His projects deal with a range of subjects: psychology, wellness, hospitality, and spirituality. Next to his individual practice, he collaborates with a variety of people and is a member of the cosmic cowboy collective, Self Luminous Society.
For VONK, David will be working on a new performance called "To Half Sell A Duck" that looks at the intersection of religion, objects, and sexuality to imagine queer religious futures. The performance will bring together a constellation of objects (paintings, drawings, and sculptures) to tell a fictional story of conversations with a priest who explains a fetishistic painting technique, opening up an unexpected depth of radical progressive ideas.
Bernstein comes from a Reconstructionist Jewish background and is influenced by “The Crash”, a concept by the queer Rabbi, Bennay Lappe. She argues that religious “master narratives” will eventually crash and we should choose a path of radical re-imagination. For David, he has been researching antisemitic canards (stories based on unfounded deceptions) used throughout middle ages, including depictions at different churches in Belgium, for example: The Brussels Massacre stained glass windows. How can these painful stories of the past be re-examined from an intersectional perspective? How can they bring an awareness to our current canards and discriminatory narratives? How can these oppressive symbols/objects be reclaimed as futuristic tools for resilience?