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Photos

Turning Dublin Into One Big Gymnasium

A street artist has laid impossible-to-complete track and swim lanes all throughout the city.

If M.C. Escher designed a gym, it might look a little something like this.

Track-and-field lanes that run up 90-degree walls, a soccer field climbing a staircase, a "hopscotch without hope" that tries to get players entangled in a metal gate all these surreal exercise markings were on display recently in Dublin, no doubt leading to at least a couple instances of late-night buffoonery that ended up with people smashing into a wall.

The markings are the work of France's Florian Rivière, a puckish street artist who's also made a shoulder-mounted crosswalk. Barring the diligence of street-scrubbers, they'll be on display until September as part of Science Gallery's "Hack the City" exhibit, a probing of public space that also features a mobile garden and American graffiti-sprayer Evan Roth walking around on some rather interesting platform shoes:

The meaning behind Rivière's installations is shadowy, as they seem to encourage pedestrians to exercise more while guiding them toward physically harmful behavior, or at least a visit from the police for diving into a park lake. Take a look, beginning with this nose-cracking "Race in the Wall":

The aptly named "Hopscotch Without Hope":

Looks like the ducks have already finished this "Swimming Race":

Jackie Chan could handle this "Right-Angled Race":

"Phone Race." Nobody really races to use payphones anymore, but whatever:

"Soccer Pinball." One side has a definite advantage:

Is this "3D Platform" where you're supposed to stand after winning Bronze for surviving this series of traps?

All images used with permission from the artist.

About the Author

  • John Metcalfe
    John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.