If you grew up in a place with concrete and chalk, chances are the game of hopscotch takes you back to your childhood days. But with her latest installation, Miami artist Agustina Woodgate is looking farther back -- all the way to ancient Roman civilization.
"The original hopscotch courts were over 100 feet long," she explains in a statement about Hopscotch, a sprawling art project dating to 2008 that she's reprising for the Bass Museum's tc: temporary contemporary art series. "Roman foot soldiers ran the course in full armor and field packs, and it was thought that hopscotch would improve their footwork."
Woodgate's goal: to recreate that experience on a massive scale. "Your city becomes your playground," she tells New Times. "That's the idea behind this piece.... Seeing the city in a more playful light."
The hopscotch court she's painting around the Bass Museum stretches on for hundreds of numbers. By the time the installation is officially launched this Saturday, it'll be near impossible to actually hop all the way around it, especially in the lingering humidity of a Miami summer.
And that's part of the point, too: "The expanded game reminds us of our innocence while exhausting as our urban surroundings," Woodgate's statement explains.
This isn't the first time Woodgate has created a jumbo version of the childhood game; Hopscotch has popped up at several Miami locations and events since 2008. It falls in line with much of Woodgate's work, which encourages audience participation and often introduces whimsical elements to otherwise mundane locations. In 2011, for example, Woodgate visited the thrift shops at Flamingo Plaza to surreptitiously sew snippets of poetry into clothing items for sale as part of the O, Miami poetry festival.
"When the public interacts with the piece, then the piece is effective, and somehow successful," she explains.
"And the cool thing [about Hopscotch] is that everyone knows how to play."
Follow Ciara LaVelle on Twitter @ciaralavelle.
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