'Grounds for Standing and Understanding': exhibition by Babak Golkar

Sculptural forms with modernist architectural styles

by Valentina Ieva
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In a recent traveling solo exhibition titled Grounds for Standing and Understanding, Vancouver-based artist Babak Golkar has used the design elements of the intricate patterns of a Persian carpet as a foundation to literally “drawn up” and transform into three-dimensional scale models that resemble architectural mega-towers. These sculptural forms recal some early modernist architectural styles such as Brutalism, Russian Constructivism an Art Deco, as well as, referencing buildings recently constructed in parts of the Middle East.

Grounds For Standing and Understanding, 2012 (Installation view at C. H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver) Persian Carpet, Wood, Acrylic, Lacquer paint Variable dimensions Photo by Scott Massey

The recognized pattern represents a blueprint for the imaginary urban composition, depicting a template for additional walls to the existing gallery space.

Grounds For Standing and Understanding, 2012 (Installation view at C. H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver) Persian Carpet, Wood, Acrylic, Lacquer paint Variable dimensions Photo by Scott Massey

While the scaled architectural models are extruded from the tracings of the carpet’s pattern, the extended built walls in the gallery are sections of the architectural models magnified twenty-five times in scale.

Grounds For Standing and Understanding, 2012 (Installation view at C. H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver) Persian Carpet, Wood, Acrylic, Lacquer paint Carpet: 108” (w) x 156” (l) Photo by Scott Massey

The result is an installation that produces a critique of the ideologies underpinning architecture while questioning the effectual use of the space, probing spatial problems that encourage bodily engagement on the part of the viewer.

About Babak Golkar

Born in the United States, raised in Tehran and having lived between Canada and the Middle East since 1996, Babak Golkar has developed bodies of work, which navigate and negotiate the space between cultural and socio-economical registers. His research-based art practice is centred on seemingly contradictory forms, shapes and material.

Grounds For Standing and Understanding , 2012 (Installation view at C. H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver) Persian Carpet, Wood, Acrylic, Lacquer paint 14.5” (w) x 18” (l) x 18” (h) Photo by Scott Massey

Often engaging syncretic strategies, Golkar juxtaposes several disparate traditions, asserting an underlying common ground, allowing for an inclusive approach to multi-layered reading. These strategies are implemented by exploring the potential of how ideas and forms transform between diverse contexts and systems and how new forms — and by extension, new meanings — emerge from re-contextualization.

Grounds For Standing and Understanding, 2012 (Installation view at C. H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver) Wooden frame, Drywall, Wall paint Variable dimensions Photo by Scott Massey

The results of Golkar’s research and associated practice have been actively exhibited in local, national and international venues including: The Victoria and Albert Museum (London), BrotKunsthalle (Vienna), Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art (Thessaloniki), Southern Exposure (Los Angeles) and Sanatorium Project (Istanbul). His upcoming engagements include participating in a group exhibition at Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris and a solo exhibition at West Vancouver Museum.

www.babakgolkar.ca

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    • Valentina Ieva

      Architect

      Bari / Italy

      Laureata in Ingegneria edile-architettura, giornalista per professione, web writer per diletto. Amante di architettura, design, fotografia e libri di carta. Dipendente dai social, Instagram e InstaStories su tutti. Affamata di vita, viaggi e storie da scoprire. Qualunque forma d'arte mi affascina da sempre e non posso pensare una vita senza: emozioni forti, immaginazione, buona musica, cucina pugliese, sole e gatti. Per dirla con le parole di Battiato, non potrei vivere senza: ‘un soffio al cuore di natura elettrica’!)