Mahdyar Jamshidi
I AM HERE, 2015-2017

Mahdyar Jamshidi is a photo-based artist and researcher who works and resides in Tehran, Iran. He received his Bachelor of Photography from Islamic Azad University in Tehran in 2007 and his Masters in Studio Art (Photo-Media) from the University of Sydney in 2012, and his Doctoral of Business Administration from the University of San Jose Recoletos, Philippines in 2016. He is a founder and director of Empty Space Studio in Tehran which focuses on artist talk, design and publication.

In his work, he simplifies and decodes as a strategy to deal with his own life’s circumstances, unknowns and systems. His works reflects on critical issues related to society, humanity, science and politics. Jamshidi works between photography, film and installation and his works have been presented in Florence, Iowa, Santa Cruz, Sofia, Sydney, and Tehran.

In Vancouver, during the artist residency in Griffin Art Project, Jamshidi is researching on the second part by exploring the concept of “center” from sociopolitical, economy, psychological, and physics’ perspectives. This research period is concentrated on collecting data and sharing information by events (meeting and talk with professionals) and artist and curator talks (public programs).

“I Am Here” is a continuous collective art project that concentrates on challenging the various notions of the “center.” The first part of this project took place in three stages in Iran. The first stage began in 2015 after the artist researched the various creative methods of creating a connection with “location.” By searching the name of Iran in Google Maps/Google Earth, Mahdyar Jamshidi found that a red balloon marks Iran on the map and discovered that this symbol (located in the desert outside the town of Aqda close to Ardakan-e Yazd) is the geographical center of Iran’s current borders. He then traveled to the marked location where he dug a hole 150 centimeters deep and placed at its bottom a mirror measuring 250 centimeters in diameter. He marked the hole’s perimeter with a circular red neon light. The second stage of the project took place with the support of Ag Galerie in the form of a curatorial tour and collective dialog at the marked location of the hole in the spring of 2016. The third stage took place in the winter of 2017 as an exhibition at Ag Galerie in Tehran and included the presentation of a research archive, video files and installation.