I was at Socrates Sculpture Park last week when something reminded of a favorite exhibit I saw there years ago. Wouldn’t you know it, I happened to encounter the pictures I took of it in 2005, in a place I would never have guessed their location on account of the ambiguous name of the folder that contained them.
Here, then, is Lee Walton’s STACK, in which the artist purchased 35 pound plates from Modell’s Sporting Goods in Manhattan and walked them, one at a time, holding it on his shoulder, from Manhattan’s upper east side, over the Queensboro Bridge, and to Socrates Sculpture Park. He added the 35 pound plate to the stack, repeating this task until the stack was complete.
I remembered it as the artist coming out every single day but evidently he did it over several months.
The stack itself is, by its presence, the object of consideration. But the performance art element hauling the plates a distance of probably five miles is what got my interest.
Interestingly, he appears to have renamed the piece Sport, or else that was its original named changed to Stacked. I interpreted this ritual as a bit of a dig against extreme weightlifting and body building, but also a metaphor for monotonous rituals that lead to unremarkable results, in sports or otherwise. The completed stack is not the center of this work, nor anything much to look at. The effort and industry in making it made this memorable to me.