Gandydancer

Dimensions 215 cm x 590 cm x 215 cm
Materials Sandblasted glass, bronze, wood
Collection Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina

The men who laid track for the railroads were called Gandydancers. This title is derived from the Gandy Tool Company who made the bars for levering the tracks in place.In order for the tracks to move and align the men had to work in unison. In order to accomplish this task they developed chants and choreographed movements. Hand pump cars were developed to move material to the end of the line where the day’s work would begin.

The five figures in the sculpture are the same person following through the movement of swinging a hammer to pound the spikes that secure the tracks in place. This sequential movement is based on Eadweard Muybridge’s photographs which show the movement of a man running, captured through the tripping of 20 separate cameras.