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 manoeuvre and negotiate the space between these cultures. Examining the tension between pre-modern and modern traditions is often the direction of Babak’s research, which result in production of drawings, objects/installations, videos and performances.
Babak’s recent works juxtapose specific Modernist tendencies, such as the use of Minimalist language in modern architecture, against very specific traditions of the Middle Eastern culture, such as the patterns found in nomadic Persian carpets. In the series Negotiating Space, 2009-2012, the geometric patterns of the Persian carpet act as a blueprint for a series of architectural scale models, which in turn are extruded straight up from the patterns of the carpet. It is through this kind of juxtaposition that Babak proposes cross-cultural re-examination and possibilities of dialogical contemplations on new forms and meanings.
Babak was nominated and shortlisted for the prestigious Jameel Prize at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2011. His most recent installation, Grounds for Standing and Understanding was recenty view at Vancouver’s Charles H. Scott Gallery. For this work, he installed nine small-scale architectural models on a large Persian carpet and built three large-scale structures in the gallery based on the miniature models. Babak is represented by the Third Line gallery in Dubai and Hilger Contemporary in Vienna.
His residency at Delfina Foundation was a commission-based collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum to create a site-specific work for their Friday Late event with a Nowruz theme. Images of the work can be viewed here.