Mehdi Khandan (b. 1980, Tehran, Iran) started photography in 2002 by partaking in Mehrdad Afsari’s courses. His works are characterized by remaining true to analog photography and the use of alternative processes, multiple exposure, and simple cameras, which are all rooted in his unique approach to man’s relationship with the world and himself. His photographs are marked by a sense of inwardness as he explores his inner realm. To him, photography is a representation of the curious mind of the artist in relation to his surroundings, and a reference to his recollections and lived experience. He lives and works in Tehran.
I have always been concerned with Tehran, my hometown, where all that matters to me reside. Imagine sitting on a chair in the middle of the street, moving through and with the city. You are staring at the city and it is staring right back at you.
I have been riding motorcycles since I was very young. It was quite easy: you just need to have the guts, which I did. I liked it much more than driving cars and it was more practical too. Riding motorcycles has become an inseparable part of my life, just like taking photographs. I believe riding is a way of experiencing the everyday life in a pure way. Therefore, I installed a GoPro action camera on my fender and started to ride the city. Just like a normal day. I immersed myself in the everyday life and sometimes even forgot the camera. The camera, however, was set on a 30-second time-lapse sequence, to capture imperfect details of the whole. I had no idea what it was capturing. Sometimes I would steer the bike or decelerate when I saw a nice frame. Nonetheless, I did not know the exact direction of the camera. It was just like life. The camera was capturing the passage of life with a new angle in each passing moment. It became, in fact, like life itself: a passive observer that captured the city, its life, and perhaps, me. In any case, both of us were flowing through time, each in our own way, while the city encompassed us; a city that is wiped out of our minds. I have used cyanotype process to reflect the significance and uniqueness of each photographic moment. The main ingredient used in the process is cyanide.