Like a glacier: Samson, 1981, by Chris Burden


Chris Burden, Samson, 1985. Turnstile, winch, worm gear, leather strap, jack, timbers, steel, steel plates; dimensions variable.

“A museum installation consisting of a 100-ton jack connected to a gear box and a turnstile. The 100-ton jack pushes two large timbers against the bearing walls of the museum. Each visitor to the museum must pass through the turnstile in order to see the exhibition. Each input on the turnstile ever so slightly expands the jack, and ultimately if enough people visit the exhibition, SAMSON could theoretically destroy the building. Like a glacier, its powerful movement is imperceptible to the naked eye. This sculptural installation subverts the notion of the sanctity of the Museum (the shed that houses the art).”

Source: Zwirner and Wirth

See also: Chris Burden: In keeping with the bicentennial spirt the post Watergate mood and the new atmosphere on Capitol Hill

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