Diamond Stingily is an American artist, writer and poet. Her NGV Triennial work, In the middle but in the corner of 176th place, is an installation of more than seven hundred athletic trophies displayed on metal shelving. At first glance, the trophies look like those typically given to participants of conventional competitions at awards ceremonies. A closer look reveals that their plaques are replaced by short passages such as ‘I DID THE BEST I COULD WITH WHAT I HAD’ or ‘I DID IT FOR THE GLORY’.

Watch the video to find out more about the installation, hear from the artist about her ideas and inspiration, and follow a demonstration to create your own trophy celebrating an everyday victory.

Watch this video in Auslan

Download the instructions sheet

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Guiding questions

The artwork

  • What is the significance of the title of this artwork?
  • Consider the relationship between the form of Diamond Stingily’s trophies and the messages etched onto their plaques. How do they complement and/or contradict one another?
  • How does the number of trophies in this display affect your response to the work overall?
  • How might the meanings and messages expressed in the installation be interpreted differently if there were far fewer trophies?

Themes and ideas

  • In what ways does this artwork celebrate our culture of awarding achievement and effort in competition? In what ways does it challenge it?
  • What kind of trophy would you like to award yourself right now? What kind of message would you engrave into its plaque?