The Match Game

The Match Game

The Match Game is a mixed-media table-top installation that grew out of an email correspondence between Sasha Chavchavadze and her father in which she asked him questions about a match game he invented as a boy and played throughout his career as a Cold War CIA operative.

Stored in a Cuban cigar box, the original match game included old matches, flags, BBs, instructions, scoring notes, and a government-issued pen. A war game in which players battled each other with armies of different colored matches marked with insignia of rank, the original game employed pre-safety matches that could be easily lit.

Chavchavadze’s recreation of the match game, a stylized version, incorporates match tips painted to replicate the pre-safety Ohio Blue Tips used in the original game, chevrons and stripes added to the match sticks as insignia of rank, sand, rocks, BB’s, and World War II battle maps.

The Match Game is documented in a 12 minute DVD created by Chavchavadze at a multi-media residency in 2006. A 2-minute excerpt can be found on our About page.

An example of an email between Chavchavadze and her father regarding the match game:

Top: Match game recreation
Middle: Original match game
Bottom: Detail

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