Something to hold on to

2019
Collaboration with David Bernstein
Sculpture-performance, 13 objects
Various materials and dimensions

Objects are offered to guests to hold in their hands while they visit the rest of a group exhibition. The forms for these objects originate as abstractions of familiar things in everyday life. They can be thought of as tools for projection – things that produce associations and memories. Perhaps they can be an escape, a way for someone to pretend to be busy, to take away the awkwardness of a situation, like a cigarette or a pen might do. Or perhaps they can trigger playful interactions between guests that may otherwise not occur. The work offers a sense of security, so that if people feel awkward looking at contemporary art, at least they will have something to hold on to.

Gee Wesley, curator of the exhibition: ‘Something to hold on to, a collaborative project by Rosa Sijben and David Bernstein, prompts visitors to hold on to one of several amorphous objects designed and constructed by the pair. By welcoming visitors to navigate the exhibition with this object, Sijben and Bernstein invite a consideration of how haptic engagements with material affect and mediate our experience of space.’

Something to hold on to was presented at the InPractice – Other Objects exhibition at SculptureCenter in NYC, guest curated by Gee Wesley. It was supported by the Mondriaan Fonds and SculptureCenter. This work would have been impossible without the gracious way it was carried out by Meredith Friedman (visitor services coordinator) and Tracy Keenan (visitor services representative). Film editing assistance by Amanda Ramona. Floor Grootenhuis and Gerard Volel (visitors) thanks for your help in the documentation process. Photos by: Kyle Knodell and Rosa Sijben.


Objects are offered to guests to hold in their hands while they visit the rest of a group exhibition. The forms for these objects originate as abstractions of familiar things in everyday life. They can be thought of as tools for projection – things that produce associations and memories. Perhaps they can be an escape, a way for someone to pretend to be busy, to take away the awkwardness of a situation, like a cigarette or a pen might do. Or perhaps they can trigger playful interactions between guests that may otherwise not occur. The work offers a sense of security, so that if people feel awkward looking at contemporary art, at least they will have something to hold on to.

Gee Wesley, curator of the exhibition: ‘Something to hold on to, a collaborative project by Rosa Sijben and David Bernstein, prompts visitors to hold on to one of several amorphous objects designed and constructed by the pair. By welcoming visitors to navigate the exhibition with this object, Sijben and Bernstein invite a consideration of how haptic engagements with material affect and mediate our experience of space.’

Something to hold on to was presented at the InPractice – Other Objects exhibition at SculptureCenter in NYC, guest curated by Gee Wesley. It was supported by the Mondriaan Fonds and SculptureCenter. This work would have been impossible without the gracious way it was carried out by Meredith Friedman (visitor services coordinator) and Tracy Keenan (visitor services representative). Film editing assistance by Amanda Ramona. Floor Grootenhuis and Gerard Volel (visitors) thanks for your help in the documentation process. Photos by: Kyle Knodell and Rosa Sijben.