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„In his work PEHLIVAN, Robin Kirchner approaches the archaic fighting rituals of the Kirkpinar tournament in Edirne, Turkey, where wrestlers (Pehlivan) compete against each other on grass in the open air over three days. Dressed only in traditional leather trouthers, the Pehlivan rub their bodies with olive oil to make it difficult for the oponent to catch them. Often these fights last until the wrestlers are completely exhausted. The somber close-ups create a tensionthat emphasizes the ritualistic aspects oft he event. Despite the extreme brutality of the fights, the photographs show a different side: the fighters’ affection and attachment toward each other, expressed in intimate gestures and touches – forms of tenderness among men that are not visible in this manner in the western world. In this way, Kirchner also presents alternative ideas of masculinaty for discussion“ (excerpt from the exhibition booklet of TOUCH / neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst, Berlin 2018)