project image
David Bernstein

first performed on November 18, 2011
AKK, Amsterdam, Netherlands
performed seven times in 2011


Amsterdam, Netherlands


Alex enters the room and bows, applause and cheers, beers and claps. He picks up the book, little flaps dangling, and places it on his head. “Honey, I’m HOME,” he proclaims, then slowly lowers himself like a folding chair to the floor. He swivels his waist, moves his head into a reading position, opens the door of the book and continues: “Kiki jumped, she was surprised to see him unexpectedly on leave from the war.” He flips the book over and lifts a flap. “Xavier put his arms out and embraced her, boy was he horny.” Now curls up the pages into a spiral surprise and moans, “Mississippi Mission Accomplished.”

I was invited by the curator Jules de Queneau, whom I met at the Salon Mercredi in Paris, to conceive of a work that would contain other works to be presented one evening at the AKK (Another, Amsterdam, Appreciated, Asinine) Kunst Klub, a small private space in the center of Amsterdam. They invite artists to create events for small gatherings of social


. I suggested to Jules, as an expansion to the prompt, to have my work containing other works be performed by another artist. He liked the idea, so I invited Alex Scorcelletti. I supplied Alex with an arrangement of sculptural tools called spatula books/book spatulas (books that are cut and paired with wooden pieces). These spatulas are used to tell stories, flipping and extending the meaning of the book’s story. The books become a potential script that is read and written at the same time. This is a set for an undefined performance. Alex hurried to Amsterdam with gusto as he usually does, a beard of energy and spasms of laughter. He took my objects and used them to tell his own dramatic tale: a magical love story revolving around war and a fishing trip.

The performance addressed the problem of issues, or rather the issue of coming up with problems and not being able to, and the problem of telling a good story through constrained improvisation. I’m on an endless


(thinking with things) quest to see how objects can be used like words or tools to come up with more words. I’m curious to see what happens when others approach an external object and make their own meaning. In this sense, with “Theoretical Hamburger,” whose story is it? Is Alex’s reading of my objects his performance or mine? And does each reading create a new performance or does it exist as a potential performance not yet created?