Mohsen Gallery is delighted to present works by three of the most promising young photographers working in Tehran today, Mehdi Abolkarimi (b. 1986), Mehrdad Afsari (b. 1977), and Alireza Fani (b. 1975), as part of our inaugural participation in the Main section (Booth D11) of PHOTOFAIRS| Shanghai from September 9-11, 2016. This annual fair dedicated to the art of photography and moving image engages collectors from Asia Pacific to the Pacific rim.
Mehdi Abdolkarimi’s Among Highways (2016) series considers society as an unnatural phenomenon that is constantly in conflict with itself and nature. In topographical photographs presented in a large-scale format and as sculptural works, Abdolkarimi experiments with the formal aspects of photography.
Mehrdad Afsari focuses his works on the meaning of life. From his early polaroid projects to his recent emotional tribute to his late grandmother, Afsari employs old and new photographic techniques in order to incite viewers to a negotiation between past and present, and individual and collective histories. For several years, the artist has also explored landscapes through a photographic process he describes as “a visual apocalypse of thought.” In the series Forever Years (2016), he considers the photograph as pure form, creating images that border on the abstract and asking what an image might convey in and of itself. For Afsari, these images are an explorative study in the coexistence of austerity and beauty.
Alireza Fani’s Fake Desert, Fake Lake (2014-15) is a photographic series that explores the catastrophic effect human beings have on the natural environment. One of the images from this series is of the landscape surrounding the manmade Kahrizak Lake located in the south of Tehran. The lake was formed less than a half-century ago as a result of human waste. Around 7,000 tonnes of waste from the city are transferred to this site on a daily basis. Over time, leachate has turned the lake acidic. In another image, Fani captures the opposite transformation of Lake Urmia from an iconic body of water in the Persian mythos to its current state as a salt desert.
All three artists contemplate mankind’s relationship to nature, turning our attention to landscapes and to our place within them.