Walter Benjamin believes that one of the functions of photography is to eliminate the aura and the sanctity of art. This function hinges on the camera’s ability of mechanical reproduction and the elimination of the artwork’s uniqueness. Mehrdad Afsari takes this means of desanctification to a holy place. In this place, however, the camera captures nothing but light and darkness: a dichotomy always present in sacred scriptures. This light/darkness is not represented objectively against the backdrop of the holy place, but in a photographic context, which is made by the juxtaposition of two frames (two consecutive negatives). I believe places that are captured in these photos are mere pretexts for doing something else: the photographer uses photography to sanctify the photographs.
Herfeh: Honarmand, issue no. 3, winter of 2002