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The artist Alim Pasht-Han tailors the topic with a depiction of a suit of armor as an icon, that at the same time has something iconoclastic about it. Representations of soldiers, heroes, and warriors are evoked. Images of newer omnipresent superheroes or Transformers from contemporary computer games are slipped in. Avatars, like icons, exist to be venerated and to create an existential connection between the viewer (or user) and that which is portrayed. One often also uses masks, shells, and armor to remain anonymous.

The installation is made up of a delicate interplay between attacking, armor, defense, security, and vulnerability. The yoroi is resting in a landscape after the ritual (combat). Alim Pasht-Han’s artificial armor is made out of fragile porcelain. Individual objects, modules, handcrafted set pieces, and industrial prefabricated forms yield an overall artistic composition in the glass showcase at Zoologischer Garten Berlin.

Alim Pasht-Han explores the Japanese tradition of armor called ō-yoroi. Historians have found parallels between the samurai codex and the traditions of Circassian warriors from his homeland. Despite the relatively light construction of yoroi, the defensive properties of the armor is highly complex. Most historical martial arts had techniques to defeat an opponent in armor. Armor breaker. These weaponless techniques target breaking the “skeleton” of the armor to unbalance the fighter.

Alim Pasht-Han engages with sculpture, installation, and graphic design and since 2006 has made a number of artworks out of porcelain. He lives and works as an artist in Halle/Saale and Naltschik, in the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic of the North Caucuses.


Isolde Nagel

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