If we could look very closely at each molecule that constitutes a piece of ancient pottery, legend says that we would be able to reconstruct the

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2 Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, have your tickets ready. Welcome to the funhouse. The second floor of the historic Gladstone Hotel has been transformed into a curious museum. You ll see mad science experiments! You ll glimpse into the darkside of the human psyche! You ll be lost in wonder! Prepare yourself! But first, a little contextualization. The basis of the museum collection as we know it, the cabinet of curiosities originated in 16th Century Europe. Intended as a display of knowledge, studies, travel, and worldliness, the cabinet symbolized economic status and power. A wünderkammer (literally translated, room of wonder) represented a microcosm of the natural world, and, by association, its patron s knowledge of and power in said world. At first, curiosity cabinets were rather ecclectic in nature, and contained everything from plant specimens, fossils and animal skeletons, to ethnological and geoglogic samples, to works of art. Before academia imposed strict categories, historical wünderkammeren attempted to make sense of disparate objects by juxtaposing seemingly unrelated items and thus seeking to find meaning in their similarities. Cabinets were entire rooms at first, rather than furniture, hence the connection to the Gladstone Hotel as site of this iteration of the cabinets of yore. invites you to consider a collection of contemporary artists who reinterpret the concept of the cabinet of curiosities from a modern perspective. You ll be invited into the chambers of artists who approach artmaking with the fervour of mad scientists, or creative genuises. Our curious freakshow has for its ringmaster the inimitable Ulysses Castellanos, directing the art-seeking public from upart to Art Toronto and back again in a mind-altering ArtBus ride that will awaken your sense of curiousity and leave you wondering. Feelings that will only grow as you enter Rooms of Wonder! You ll see oversized insects! You ll see mutilated corpses! You ll see nature nipped and tucked, looking better than before! Disembarking from the magical mystery tour that is the Performance Bus, and arriving at the second floor of the Gladstone Hotel, you will be immersed in a curious funhouse. The main foyer has been transformed with the work Overflow (Überfluss). Designed to break our perception of space wide open, this piece will disorient you in a fashion similar to the fairground funhouse. You ll wonder where the walls and ceiling end and the artwork begins. You ll wonder if the Gladstone has become a portal to another dimension. Lose your way, find it again, and continue on through to other Rooms of Wonder. Curious displays await you as you meander from room to room, from wonder to wonder. Dime museums, often parked at the fairground or near the circus tent, presented a form of edutainment popular in late 19th and early 20th century North America. Displaying fake specimens as truthful, dime museums sought to entertain and amaze their audiences rather than to educate them. Emphasizing the sense of amazement was the pursuit, not learning. And amazement was sought out, very much so, by the thrill-seeking public. It was, and remains, a form of escapism allowing a sense of awe to temporarily eclipse a mundane, day-to-day existence. That this is being shown in a hotel offers an interesting correlation between the idea of travelling museological displays installed in spaces that house temporary guests passing through. Taking a cue from these travelling museums, several artists in Rooms of Wonder present freakish or abnormal objects. The Gladstone Hotel with its historical connection to travellers, provides a suitable temporary site for our contemporary art specimens. Awe, and by extension, wonder, is at the root of our quest for knowledge. It s what pushes us to find out why a thing is the way it is. Natural history is very much at the centre of the historical cabinet of curiosities, and remains a significant element in Rooms of Wonder. Several artists reprise and reinterpret the natural history museum itself, while others behave more like mad scientists, vivisecting plants, measuring their strength, or letting them battle with high voltage apparatus. Others examine the significant role pharmaceuticals play in our lives today. Prescribed as a remedy these drugs, some of these artists suggest, are more like scientific experiments on the human population. After winding your way in and out of the exhibition, you realize that what you have seen is indeed a cabinet of cabinets, specimens of specimens, a collection of collections. In effect, what we have done is curated curators, as well as artists, to present you with a wonderous collection of curious contemporary installations housed within the historical, repurposed cabinet of culture that is the Gladstone Hotel.

3 ˆ If we could look very closely at each molecule that constitutes a piece of ancient pottery, legend says that we would be able to reconstruct the potter s song. The intrinsically silent ceramic bowls surprise the viewer through the work s sound component. As there is nothing to reveal speakers hidden within the bowls, we must discover the source of the music. Sounds from a studio transport us to the very location where the bowls were created. The installation s poetic resonance carries us through a place and time that wouldn t be possible without the intersection of the bowls on display and the sound projected through them. The wonder is in this intersection, when the viewer identifies the source of the sound and suddenly, the ceramic bowls are singing. NAISA (New Adventures in Sound Art) is presenting Le Puits as part of the SOUNDplay festival, which showcases work where sound art is integrated with other media.

4 One room incorporates objects that range from pills to probes and compliments the other room with digital cabinets of wonder. Red Head s collection juxtaposes the intrinsic with the non-essential, while engaging all five senses. This is a collection for healing aromatherapy oils; for security pills for a myriad of ailments; and prevention aids to ward off the bacterial world. Encompassing sculpture, drawings, video, and photography, CASES is a microcosm of medical obsessions, providing viewers with an even greater over-prescribed, over-sanitized, overinformation-filled assortment of curiosities. A sensory interaction that entices even the most savvy medical professional/consumer or health fanatic.

5 Florescent light blankets a waist high examination table in the centre of a room. Placed upon the lab table are several instruments. Contained within these devices are plants. To the left of the table a small desk and chair are stationed under a window sill. A journal lies open with a pen cradled in its fold. Evelyn favors the light on this side of the room. Where does exploration end and exploitation begin, or, are they inseparable? Plant Exploitation is an installation that explores our relationship to nature. We can not divorce our dependence on plants, to feed us, clothe us, shelter us, heal us and propel us. Given the shortages we face on several fronts, there is an urgency to extract more from our silent partners. The installation opens a door to an eccentric who has transformed suite 205 of the Gladstone Hotel into a laboratory to carry out experiments on plants. Several scientific instruments fill the room. The contents reveal an obsession with plants, emoting both intimacy and also heartless dissection for these living subjects. The occupant possesses an idée fixe that the solutions to our economy and environmental woes can be found in plants, our benign saviors.

6 ˆ ˆ In his installation M eat me, fluorescents lights underline and penetrate a serie of three sculptures. One of these sculptures, a mermaid was originaly created by Real Bergeron from l Isle-aux-Coudres in Québec, the object was finally bought and reinterpreted by Jérôme Ruby. Here, he interrogates with irony our understanding of the artistic process, as well as the the idea of a cultural cannibalism.

7 In their upart installation Collections: Conceptualism and Relational Gestalt Marketplace, Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins present a combination of themes they have been examining in the latter half of Marman and Borins continue from their summer/fall residency that featured the production of a mini-mall in the Toronto-based artist run centre YYZ Artists Outlet. This show comparatively contrasted tendencies that exist within the late-capitalist sphere of the relational aesthetics movement against the vibrancy, creativity, and strategies of resistance that small business owners employ. At upart, Marman and Borins combine their previous strategy of Marmco, the artist as corporate entity, with the tonality introduced in the YYZ project, to further ends. They address the contemporary cabinet of curiosities, as a site of commercial exchange of commodities within the context of the retail store as independent small business. Using strategies of mimicry and cooption, the artists present a commercial setting, paradoxically showcasing unique artworks that appear to be retail commodities, while highlighting the curatorial uniqueness found in independent small businesses.

8 Bonnie Marin s work is characterized by her incredible sensitivity to the technique of assemblage through which she creates unsettling images that are mixed with her very sardonic and wry sense of humour. Crawl Space consists of several three dimensional collaged boxes which are intended to overwhelm and create an intimate setting where viewers are free to stare and gawk to their hearts content. Each work acts as it own room of wonder and collectively they create a disjointed narrative referencing notions of collecting, display, presentation, power and control. Marin offers up the darker side of humanity for contemplation. Provoking fits of uncomfortable laughter, each piece is a representation of a life the viewer knows nothing about. Her boxes shift between nightmarish episodes to pseudo sexual fantasies. She is truly a master at combining the unexpected with the familiar, and provides the viewer the opportunity to deliciously devour the taboos they evoke.

9 The installation comprised of an Algonquinesque composition of synthetic rocks, trees, grass, and wildlife decoys is confronted with dislocated sounds of recorded whales and sea birds that resonate throughout the fabricated environment. A ladder provides access to the installation that follows the contours of the room, hovering five feet off the floor atop stage scaffolding. The curious montage of synthetic nature creates an odd environment of dislocated natural references, exploring the limits of our capacity to suspend disbelief. It is a project that exists within a culture in which the synthetic or the standin has become increasingly commonplace. The absurdity of this peculiar installation sets a playing field in which our existing relationship to the synthetic can be explored; it s fiction reflecting on the reality (or recreated reality) of the world we live in.

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11 You find yourself in a small room where the walls are entirely covered with patterns made of soft polyester flocking. These patterns, white on a white surface, are not easy to distinguish at first for they seem to be defined essentially by their texture. Puzzled, you come nearer; you might even feel the need to touch. You now discern the detail of all the different juxtaposed silhouettes in the wallpaper. You then perceive a gradual change in lighting that renders the overall view discernable and finally comprehensible because the patterns are now coloured, the flocking material refracting the ultraviolet light. This meeting of vision and touch, of near and far, and the eye that skims across the textured surface, intrigues Gougeon. This installation solicits both senses while re-evaluating their relationship and questioning the usual supremacy attributed to the sense of sight in the construction of reality and in human experience in general. Powdered wool or cloth, applied to wallpaper, fabrics etc. to form a raised velvet-like pattern. Canadian Oxford Dictionary, Second Edition.

12 For an abandoned house, the process of decay is one in which interior spaces are physically and conceptually transformed over time into exterior spaces. The animals and insects that invade devolving architectural structures are key participants in this transition. In an inhabited home, the presence of these animals are a threat to the social and psychological frameworks that buttress us safely on the inside. In an abandoned house, the threat is carried out, and the domestic space is dismantled entirely. Communities of Decay is the result of a series of investigations in which I collected and observed the non-human inhabitants of abandoned structures. The zones of occupation are mapped and large portrait banners of the small mammals, birds, insects, spiders, and other invertebrates are made from canvas cloth and felt. The portraits serve to identify the animals as a community of beings that unwittingly yet naturally demolish human spaces.

13 Elizabeth D Agostino received her BFA from the University of Windsor and her MFA from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, IL. She has exhibited in Canada and internationally. Her work can also be found in many private and public collections including the University of Changchun Jilin, China; Frans Masareel Centrum, Belgium and Ernst and Young, Canada.

14 As with many contemporary artists, Cormier s practice involves creating with the ready-made resources of the every-day. Recycling becomes a contemporary phenomenon of survival. Old telephone cords, plastic bags, used clothing and packaging are obsessively collected. The compositions in the Digital Weave photographic series give humble materials a new and honorable context, creating symbols for the logoless. The finished product appears like a badge to a secret society, the colours and forms creating repeated patterns, codes and symbols of contemporary life. The collage works bring together the fragmented female body and packaging. These characters (members of The Anti-logo League) appear fractured and stand as recycle guerilla girls or freaks of commoditization. They are the crusaders of the Anti-logo cause who weave the strips of ephemera into the new non-logos. Though they bare bars and codes they do not reveal a brand-product and instead, show what usually lies beneath

15 .. When one feels drawn to something, the room about us appears to gather energy. Our awareness begins to come into focus as we try to concentrate. We may seek with wandering gaze a reason for the diffuse vacuum of meaning. Attraction can exude from people, locations or events. Within Achim Zeman s installation works there is not a particular object which attracts our attention, rather we experience something about the form of attraction itself, something about the movement pattern of our sensory perception, about proximity and distance, about relationships and perspectives, about space and boundaries. Special thanks to all of the artist volunteers; Samantha Crowhurst, Kinsey Deacon, Alison Lindsay, Susan Smereka, Mandy Taylor, Jenn Dowd, Laura Paolini, Vanessa Ropp, Kim Craig, Lydia Shin, Hannah Cho, Augusta Choi, Virginia Hsiao, Nicole Liban, Joseph Pepelnak, Bernd Lausberg, Brian Torner, Kevin Brewer

16 Chord is a recreation of an antiquated electrical transformer installed on the second floor balcony of the Gladstone Hotel. The piece confounds expectations by inverting the usually isolated relationship between the human body and high voltage apparatus. Natural materials have insinuated themselves into the transformer, either in an act of retaliation or communion. The juxtaposition suggests a tension between the urban and natural environment, and is further augmented by the distinctive hum emanating from the transformer. The combination of elements strikes a dissonant and yet strikingly familiar chord.

17 Early historical anatomies resonate with our contemporary philosophical understanding of the body as a structure that may be perceived, regulated and mapped using a number of alternative criteria. Like children s drawings early anatomies simplify forms to create symbolic representations of systems or organs. Frequently, medieval anatomical illustrations featured rich schemata of associative imagery correlating diagrams of the body and other natural and scientific systems, such as astronomy, or imagine the body as a machine. These overlapping systems inspired me to create Phantasm, a series in which an anthropomorphic surrogate is simulated through the conflation of unlike parts. Catherine Heard s research and artistic practice unites the histories of medical science with images of the monstrous body. Her sculptures, installations and drawings have been inspired as much by fascination with the strangeness of the monstrous form as with the contradiction of using fine craft to create abject images.

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19 Carl Bouchard was born in Ville de La Baie in He completed a Diploma of Fine Arts at University of Quebec in Chicoutimi in He is founding member and President of le LOBE, an artists run center in Chicoutimi (1993). In the beginning of the nineties, Carl Bouchard contributes by his work to the rise of the interdisciplinary art practices. Since his first solo exhibition, his work surprises and holds the attention of the critics by a skilful mixes of works on paper and of neat sculptures in which the pleasure of the matter, the refinement of the detail and the mastering of the techniques play with minimalism, decorative and conceptual art influences. He had presented eleven solo and forty collective exhibitions in Quebec, Canada, France and Austria. For instance we could recall the prestigious and disputed Montreal s Museum of contemporary art exhibition s De fougue et de passion (1997), the spectacular installation Les pleureuses -oublier par don presented in the Notre-Damede-Jacques-Cartier church in the set of the first Manif internationale d art -Quebec biennial(2000) but also the engagement and the audacity with Jouer to the doctor/be A Specialist presented in the gallery Le Lieu of Quebec (2004) and L affable/dramatisation presented at L Écart, Rouyn-Noranda (2008). Since 1998, Carl Bouchard develops an interdisciplinary duo practice with the artist Martin Dufrasne, in parallel with their individual step. Stephanie Cormier was born in Montreal, Quebec, raised in Barbados in the Caribbean and now lives in Toronto, Ontario. Her practice includes photography, video and sculpture installation as well as projects encouraging public intervention and community participation. Cormier likes to sculpt, draw and paint with everyday materials, using objects that are either plentiful and recycled or conversely nostalgic or obsolete. She enjoys giving these humble objects a new and honorable context. Stephanie studied at the Ontario College of Art and Design where she completed her BFA. Her work has been exhibited across Canada as well as in London, England and New York City, she has earned several national grants and awards and her work can be found in the Carte Blanche Photographers Book between Susan Coolen and Douglas Coupland. Marie Côté draws her inspiration from the initial experience, that the source of any form is a void. Like a pot needing to be filled, her work seeks to reveal the complex experience that links an object to space. If an empty space can easily be imagined, one cannot conceive an object without space. Her work can be seen in public and private collections. Elizabeth D Agostino received her BFA from the University of Windsor and her MFA from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, IL. She has exhibited in Canada and internationally. Her work can also be found in many private and public collections including the University of Changchun Jilin, China; Frans Masareel Centrum, Belgium and Ernst and Young, Canada. Diane Gougeon lives and works in her native city of Montreal. For several years her installations have articulated a reflection on our perception of nature, as rendered through the technical reproduction of its physical characteristics, its visual representation in the media, and its mediatization through a variety of communications technologies. A substantial publication has just been published on her work of the past 15 years. Marie Fraser s text shows how Gougeon s works interrogate our relationship with the world by constructing devices that attempt to organize, orient, and control our gestures, behaviour, modes of communication, and spatiotemporal circumstances. Over the years, she has created work in both public and private spaces. In addition to the usual exhibit sites, her work has invested the space of abandoned gardens, public sites and government buildings. Twice, she has used vehicles such as taxis, delivery trucks and private cars to circulate objects or images in the city. She has exhibited in Quebec, Canada and France, and created five public commissions. Olivier Girouard seeks to set music in motion. He works with artists from various disciplines, notably in the areas of dance, sound art, video and visual art. At the Montréal Conservatory and under direction of Yves Daoust, he studied electroacoustic composition at the graduate level.

20 Catherine Heard graduated from the University of Toronto Master of Visual Studies program in In she was appointed Visiting Artist Scholar and Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary. Currently she is a Visiting Artist and Assistant Professor at Brock University in St. Catharine s, Ontario. Catherine Heard s most recent installation, Theatrum Mundi, can be viewed at Rodman Hall in St. Catharine s. Catherine is represented by Edward Day Gallery. For more information visit and Multiples by Catherine Heard, are available through Art Metropole Robert Hengeveld is an installation and multi-media artist whose work explores the boundaries between reality and fiction, and where we find ourselves within that relationship. He is currently living and working in Toronto, Canada. He completed his MFA at the University of Victoria in 2005 and received an AOCAD from the Ontario College of Art and Design. He continues to exhibit his work across Canada and internationally. He recently received grants from both the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council. Some of his recent and upcoming exhibitions include It s One Louder, Power Plant; flicker n hum, Luminato; Veracity, CAFKA and exhibitions at Interaccess Artist Run Centre, Galarie Sans Nom and Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects. Bonnie Marin is a Winnipeg-based artist with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Manitoba. She works in a variety of mediums including sculpture, collage, painting, and artist books. Her work has been shown in various cities throughout North America, and can be found in public collections such as The Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Glenbow Museum as well as in several national and international private collections. Over the course of her career she has received several grants for her work from the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins practice sculpture, installation and media art in Toronto. Marman and Borins have shown work both in Canada and internationally, including exhibitions at: the University of Toronto; the Toronto International Art Fair; Galeria Vermelho, Sao Paulo, Brazil; and the Toronto Sculpture Garden. In 2008 Marman and Borins were featured in a group sculpture show at the National Gallery of Canada entitled Caught in the Act: Viewer as Performer. In 2009, they had solo exhibitions at the Art Gallery of York University and YYZ Artists Outlet in Toronto. Marman and Borins graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design in Prior to that, Marman received a BA in Philosophy from the University of Western Ontario, and Borins received a BA in Art History from McGill University. Their work is in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada. Julian Montague was born in Madison, Wisconsin in 1973, He received a BA from Hampshire College in Montague s projects explore the peripheral features of the domestic and urban environment. He is best known for a project that developed a system of classification for stray shopping carts. His book, The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification, was published in 2006 by Abrams. He has most recently exhibited at Black & White Gallery (NYC), and Socrates Sculpture Park (NYC). His work has received attention from Artnews, The Journal of Postmodern Culture, The New York Times, The Toronto Star, the BBC World Service, and many others. He is in the collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Martin Z. Margulies and the Progressive Insurance Company. Julian Montague currently lives and works in Buffalo, New York. He is represented by Black & White Gallery in New York City. Alexander Moyle is a Toronto based sculptor whose public art commission Dormez Vous? was installed in North York at the Meridian Towers. Moyle s public works are executed in a variety of materials bronze, stainless steel and architectural terra cotta. The latter is the basis of a large public art commission Over the Meadow, found in the Region of Waterloo. Moyle has also created works for designers, architects, the film industry and worked in sculptural conservation. He received his BFA in sculpture from Philadelphia College of Art, known as The University of the Arts, following which he cycled from Pennsylvania to Tucson, Arizona where he worked as an apprentice sculptor and rounded his experience in a casting foundry, Desert Crucible. Currently Moyle is installing mobiles at the Side Space Gallery in Toronto, titled Unbalanced, opening August 27,2009. His mobiles explore the precarious balance we attempt to maintain in our daily lives. Previous exhibitions have been at the Toronto Stock Exchange and at the Royal Ontario Museum.

21 Jérôme Ruby interrogates the contradiction and disproportion, the originality and superficiality of the work of art. At the outset, the study of dysfunctional, organic forms is an integral part of the artist s visual vocabulary. However, underlying a pattern of contradiction, opposition, and excess in representation is Jérôme Ruby s cynically questioning of the authenticity of the work. TH&B is the creative partnership of Simon Frank, Dave Hind, Ivan Jurakic, and Tor Lukasik-Foss; a group of visual artists operating out of the Hamilton area, one of the largest centres of industrial manufacturing in North America. Resuscitating the moniker of the defunct railway that once serviced the Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo rail corridor from , the group develops collaborative projects that are responsive to the site, context and history of this broad region. Collaborating on all aspects of authorship, ranging from initiating projects, to fabrication, installation, promotions and publishing, TH&B examines unexpected intersections between culture and the natural environment. The Red Head Gallery was founded in 1990 as a collective of 17 critically engaged Toronto and area artists. Red Head operates largely as a self-supporting gallery that is committed to the exhibition and promotion of contemporary art that meets a rigorous creative standard. The Red Head is an active institution in the Ontario arts community, one which continually works towards an engaging presentation of contemporary visual art to a range of audiences and communities. Ten members currently showcase their work in this collaborative exhibition: Janet Bellotto, Paula Braswell, Jean Bridge, Laura Cunningham, Lynne Heller, Joan Kaufman, Margie Kelk, Jane Martin, Ram Samocha, and Elaine Whittaker. Exhibiting internationally, these artists produce work that varies in process and medium including sculpture, video, photography, installation, painting, drawing and mixed media. Members are also actively engaged in developing projects and exchanges outside of the gallery and recently include an exchange with Kunsthaus Sante Fé, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

22 Sponsored and designed by castor upart 2009 ~ Rooms of Wonder at the Gladstone Hotel. Ancillary projects by Diane Gougeon, Bonnie Marin, TH&B and Achim Zeman provide at glimpse of more curiosities to come when you visit upart Rooms of Wonder at the Gladstone Hotel. Curated by Barbara Gilbert and Chris Mitchell. NEXT is a dynamic neighbourhood of exhibiting galleries at Art Toronto who highlight young career artists setting new trends in contemporary visual arts. With 19 exhibitors the NEXT area is the place to discover and interact with select galleries and artists seeking fresh perspectives. The NEXT lounge will present teaser installs from partnering city-wide satellite art projects that both challenge and redefine the relationship between art and the viewing public. Diane Gougeon Out of touch lenticular image 44 in diameter Out of touch lenticular image 44 in diameter Bonnie Marin Plastic Surgery overall height: 7 feet tall overall width and depth: ranging between 24 to 36 four boxes each ranging in size: 12 x 24 x 12 base: 24 (h) x 24 (w) x 36 (d) TH&B Dry Cell x 61 x 153 cm 32 x 24 x 60 inch Mixed media Achim Zeman Uberfluss (Overflow) 2009 dimensions variable Vinyl

23 Panelists discuss contemporary implications of collecting, curiosity, and wonder. With moderator Carla Garnet and panelists Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins, Catherine Heard, Suzanne Carte-Blanchenot and Leslie Korrick. upart... the ride of your life... and Dikkie Dee s Badaaass Return! AGYU Performance Bus drives the spaces between upart and Art Toronto. Artist Ulysses Castellanos will take you on the ride of your life as he leads you on a bizarre tour of Toronto. If you like free ice cream - stick around to witness DIKKIEDEE S BADAAASS RETURN! Thank you to the following people for their support and contribution: The management and staff of the Gladstone Hotel, AGYU, Art Toronto, All of the upart participants who helped to make this year s event happen. upart is produced by The Gladstone Hotel and curated by Barbara Gilbert and Chris Mitchell. Graphic Design: Cecilia Berkovic, Media Sponor: NOW Magazine, Exhibition Intern and Exhibition catalogue design: Tanya Arsenault. All photographs Barbara Gilbert Copyright 2009

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