Albrecht Becker – BodyMod as Artistic Practiced
Albrecht Becker (1906 – 2002), best known as a successful set designer and for his controversial biography – he was imprisoned by the Nazis under paragraph 175 – was also a pioneer of body modification. The presentation “Albrecht Becker – Body Modification as Artistic Practice” will introduce his interdisciplinary methods of creation, intertwining his biography with the photo documentation of his corporal experiments. The lecture will provide insight into Becker’s photographic manipulation processes as well as his physical transformations.
Becker’s photo-documentation situates his body as a site for mutable and constant transformation, a queer take on body and motion. It will present an extensive photographic collection of his body experiments, such as piercing, tattooing, branding, pearling and extreme genital modification. This talk will feature important documents and letters from his friends, collaborators and pioneers of the scene, such as Fakir Musafar and Herbert Hoffmann. It will take a critical approach derived from art history and its methodologies in order to situate Becker’s body modifications, which have underpinned his research and artistic practice. These are rarely described in terms of artistic relevance and specific aesthetic history.