Collection of vintage photographs
Collection of vintage photographs Collection of vintage photographs
n.p. n.p.. c. late 1950s - early 1960s.

Forty five gelatin silver photographs of Musafar (twenty eight with typed captions, eight with hand-written captions in two hands to verso), seven gelatin silver photographs of women with tribal adornments (three with typed captions to verso). All approximately 100x120mm; occasional light handling marks, a couple roughly trimmed. Two gelatin silver photographs mounted on white card 85x163mm.
Fakir Musafar (b.1930) is widely acknowledged as the founder of the "Modern Primitive" movement, a term he coined to refer to the practice of westerners engaging in body modifications, or "body play". From an early age, Musafar had experiences of past lives and gave himself his first piercing at the age of twelve. These images represent early examples of his own photography. He went on to make films exploring his interests in body play, most notably the 1986 documentary Dances Sacred and Profane and he continues to work, lecturing and leading workshops. Although Musafar's work is shocking, deliberately challenging taboos, he locates it within traditions of ritual, non-Western religious practices (as can be seen in the images of tribal women) while simultaneously raising disturbing questions about erotic iconography. An important archive from early in Musafar's career.