The Gradual Disappearance of Things | 2012


“The image is an impression of the truth; a glimpse of the truth permitted to us in our blindness.” —Andrei Tarkovsky

This series of works was made in the course of ten years. Its idea first came to me after reading Walter Benjamin’s famous “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” in which Benjamin addresses issues such as the aura of an artwork and its uniqueness, art for the general public, reproduction, etc. Ever since I stepped into the world of photography, I concerned myself with the nature of photography, even more than what it actually depicts. It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that I became increasingly fascinated by the mystery and magic that is intrinsic to photography. One of the basic properties of photography is that it reproduces the world. Through photography, we can make innumerable copies of a specific part of the world. A photograph captures a moment that no longer exists and it brings a moment from the past into existence. Here, we see images that are repeated on negatives 36 times, all of which are shot within 10 seconds. They seem to be identical but they are not, for they are taken in different times. I decided on the locations as they stirred my photographic impulses. In other words, I was drawn by them for any number of sensory reasons, which was mainly due to the fact that I was more interested in the process that happened in the medium itself. The result is 36 frames made of 36 images, repeated 36 times, making a total of 46656 frames. These moments do not exist anymore.


Mehrdad Afsari

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