Brüche, 2024, Haus Kunst Mitte

On view till 02. June 2024:

500 Bathers, 2022, ink on textile, 500 drawings each 10 x10 cm to 20 x 10 cm, Exhibition view, 2024, Brüche; Künstlerinnen und Künstler in Berliner Exil, Haus Kunst Mitte Gallery Berlin
Curating board: Dr. Anna Havemann (Artistic director of Haus Kunst Mitte) and Yevheniia Havrylenko (free curator), cooperated by Avi Feldman (curator and lawyer) and Jeanno Gaussi (artist)

Fotos © Michael Lüder and Haus Kunst Mitte and Azar Pajuhandé

The Masks and Alamat Installation, 2022

Qanat, 2022, ceramic, 20,5 x 17,5 x 6,8 cm
9 years old, 2022, ceramic, plastic flowers, 31 x 30 x 23 cm
Dream, 2022, ceramic, 25 x 16,8 x 15,2 cm
Key (ح), 2022, ceramic, 17,2 x 12,2 x 7,5 cm
Life is hard, 2022, ceramic, gold, peacock feather, brush, 30 x 22 x 10cm
Death, 2022, ceramic,thread, 22 x 13 x 6,5cm
Shahr-e Farang, 2022, ceramic, dolls, 30 x 15 x 7,5 cm
Petrichor, 2022, ceramic, natural hairs, 19 x 18 x 8,6 cm
Psychoanalysis, 2022, ceramic, mirror, 31,7 x 23 x 8,5cm
#oh_my_face, 2022, ceramic, artificial eyelashes, 19,1 x 20 x 7,5 cm
Abarkuh, 2022, ceramic, 72 x 20 x 16 cm


Identity, Unpacked
Text by Samantha Grob for the exhibition Matière noire

Throughout her life, from growing up in Iran to living in Germany, Azar Pajuhandé (*1982) has dealt with issues related to origins, gender, and religion ever-presently. Understanding that in order for her work to stand alone and not be viewed through the lenses of -cliche- cultural frames, she has to work hard… Her work is complex, elopes categorizing, and is influenced by comparative studies of Persian and Western culture and philosophy. Exploring her identity in diaspora, she explores the impact of access or lack of language(s). Spontaneity orchestrates her artistic process. She studies multi-layered works in which philosophy, art history, and craft unite. Her manifold artistic practice is a proof of profound research and unique craftsmanship.

Iran -her home, a homely place to which she feels strongly connected and yet so distant from- remains to be her strong intellectual haven. Today the artist lives and works in Berlin and devotes herself to do research on what it means to be an individual living in diaspora. While creating this series of masks her initial enquiry has transformed into an emotional journey, contemplating many aspects of her life: roots & childhood in contrast with the experiences of her present life. All masks are made from clay, symbolizing that the Earthly creations remain pliable in the hands of the master. New forms of expression continuously emerge through the sensual process of pottering, far from predetermined patterns and conventions.

Azar Pajuhandé’s masks do not conform to an orderly process of looking akin to “look, then think, then understand”. That is too simple, too schematic and misses entirely the point of the experience. It is the gap between the visual elements and the unleashed thoughts that allow a detour into the depths of unconsciousness. It is sidestepping. It is not the quest for an answer that turns out relevant, but staying with the question. Through this encounter with the artist’s personal history and memories, our very own consciousness is invited to partake, and take off in a personal journey of discovering unfurls.

We might start to wonder, what constitutes identity? Is it one, or is it many?


Alamat is inspired by Ashura processions in Iran, highly male-dominated religious rituals, and their huge metallic ritual processional objects named Alamat.
In my reimagined version, these objects rather emphasize codes of femininity. The metalwork of original Alamat-manufacturers is replaced with bookbinding imprint on cardboard. By using such bookbinding textiles, each work can be folded into a portable columnar form, then elsewhere unfolded back to its expanded form.

My Alamats undermines the assumption that these massive ritual objects need to be designed, made and carried only by men.

The presentation can thus be adapted, hung or installed differently, as suits the exhibition space.

Alamat | 2014 -15 | Bookbinding material | 175 x 104 cm, 291 x 179 cm, 206 x 122 cm, 206 x 122 cm, folded each row c. 40 x 40 x 8 cm | Installation view, Documenta Halle, Kassel, Germany | 2015
Photos©Olga Holzschuh
Alamat, 2015, Documenta Halle, Kassel
Alamat IV, Detail
Alamat II, 2015, Exhibition view, Forma, 2020
Alamat II, 2015, Exhibition view, Forma, 2020
Alamat IV, bookbinding Materials, 206 x 122 cm
Alamat IV, 206 x 122 cm
Alamat III, 2015, bookbinding materials, 206 x 122 com, Exhibition view, Documenta Halle
Alamat II, Detail
Alamat II, Folded view
Alamat, Exhibition view, Documenta Halle, 2015
Alamat I, 2015, bookbinding materials, 175 x 104 cm
Alamat I, Detail


The Square

tree trunk, ropes, carabiner, charcoals on wooden wall, overhead, C-Print photographs, overhead photo | 270 x 270 x 30cm, 150 cm x 15cm Ø, 15 x 10cmand A4 overhead prints,
Installation view, Artist on Residency Show, Tankstation Cultureel
Vulpunt Enschede, Netherlands, 2019

December 2019 I made a site-specific installation during my artist residency
in Enschede, Netherlands.
The installation refers to the new green Square in front of the gallery.
The overhead reflects a photo of the planted trees on the showroom wall.
My tied tree trunk hangs weightlessly in the showcase in the room.

The Squar_Azar_2019Azar Pajuhandé_Enschede_Installation_The Square

   Azar_Pajuhandeh_The Square_Netherland_Detail_Tied Up


Artist´s Hand, 2021

2021, mixed media on board, 50 x 50 cm
Artist´s Hand


Artist´s Hand, 2021
50 x 50 cm, Collage and Mixed Media on board

The artwork Artist´s Hand is made by collage with layers of used cotton bedsheet and Fine Art c-print of two details of paintings by Jean-Léon Gérôme, Slave Market, 1866 and The Artist and his Model, 1895.

Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824 – 1904) was a French orientalist painter, who is considered as one of the most important painters of academic period of 1880. He combined accurate Middle Eastern Architectural details with idealized female nudes in his Paris studio.
Slave Market depicts a fantasy scene imagined by the artist, of Arabic (Middle Eastern) men checking the teeth of a naked woman with a finger, for the purpose of deciding whether to buy her as a slave. 2019 the AfD party used Slave Market in a campaign poster.
The Artist and his Model depicts Gérôme in his Studio. He is working on the sculpture of a naked woman using a nude model. The depiction is hyper realistic and the artist is working on the legs of the sculpture using his hands and a tool.

Artist´s Hand interrogates the colonialist point of view of orientalist art, and its use of the female body as a subject of free sexual fantasy. I use textile in my work as a medium for covering or exposing. White cotton of a used bedsheet is connected with the topics of colonial economy and labour and at the same time, lies in intimate proximity to the human skin and body. With the combination of the hand of the painter and the hand of slave merchant, I ask how the artist’s staging of the female nude presents a dialectical contrast between fantasy and documentation.


500 Bathers, 2021

Untitled (in the Helen Deutsch´s house), 2020







Untitled, 2020, Site-specific Installation, Pigment and Acrylic on bed sheets and wall, ca. 360 x 240 x 20 cm, exhibition view, 2 a duo pop-up exhibition in curated project center of the world is here, Przemyśl, Poland

Exhibition Text:

In January 2020, two artists from different cultural backgrounds met in Berlin to staging a joint exhibition. Magdalena Franczak and Azar Pajuhandé did not yet know that they would build their collaborative relationship from a distance. Shortly after they met a pandemic broke out and their dialogue ensued virtually. Over several months, the artists sent each other handwritten and scanned letters, drawings and voice messages. In this way, remotely, they established their connection with Przemyśl and with each other. In September, they will meet in a space they know only from photographs and video documentation. Will they manage to fill the emptiness? Does the emptiness need to be filled?

Text: Magda Franzcak

Artwork´s Photo source:



©Azar Pajuhandeh, Agata Mikrut
Photo editing: Mehdi Rahmati,

Wall Painting

Azar Pajuhandeh, Forma, Hilbertraum, Berlin,

Untitled, 2020
Ink and pigment on wall, ca. 270 x 170 cm,
Exhibition view, Forma, Hilbert Raum, Berlin, 2020

This Wall work is done after a process of painting in the space of gallery. The wall is painted with many layers of paint traces for the show.

Tree Control, 2018-2020



This project, focuses on the concept of control in city spaces and considers city trees. The tree has always been my fascination as a symbol. I get many inspirations from the symbolic aspect of tree in Iranian mytholo- gy and literature, which has been a major topic in my studies.


Tree Control, 2018, Tete, Berlin
Tree Control, 2018, series of drawings, pen and oil on paper, 35 x 50 cm | installations view, Re-set, tetê Gallery, Berlin, 2018

Tree Control, 2018, series of drawings, pen and oil on wood, 20 x 15 x 5 cm | installations view, 24H BRL/LUB, Ladno Pracownia, Lublin, 2019
Tree Control, 2019, series of drawings, pen and oil on wood, 20 x 15 cm | installations view, B–LA, Lage Egal, Berlin, 2019 Foto©Azar Pajuhandeh
Tree Control, 2018, series of drawings, pen and oil on paper, 20 x 15 cm | installations view, Works of Azar Pajuhandeh, Sonntag Project, Berlin, 2018

Azar_Pajuhandeh_Lage_Egal_Berlin Azar_Pajuhandeh_Lage_Egal_Berlin