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