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View of “Babak Golkar,” 2014. Wall: Fair Trade, 2014. Floor: Assisted Reconstruction, 2014.

Babak Golkar

The Third Line

View of “Babak Golkar,” 2014. Wall: Fair Trade, 2014. Floor: Assisted Reconstruction, 2014.

Each work in “The Return Project” was realized through an identical series of actions. Vancouver-based artist Babak Golkar begins by purchasing a cheap, usually decorative object from a local big-box store. After taking a life-size photograph of the object in his studio, he carefully deconstructs it, removing and occasionally replacing elements, retaining the original tags and packaging materials. The resulting product, designated as art via a discreetly placed authentication note and artist’s signature, is then rephotographed—again, at full size—retagged, repacked, and returned to the store for a full refund. In the gallery, each pair of before-and-after photographs was presented as a diptych alongside an object fabricated from the “surplus” material removed from the purchased product. The conditions of display for each set of photographs and manipulated residual—the

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