Gellage is a series by Czech photographer Michal Macku named after an intricate technique he developed. The term “gellage”–essentially a portmanteau of “collage” and “gelatin”–refers to a process that involves “the transfer of exposed and fixed photographic emulsion onto paper.” Macku’s experimental practice takes liberties in moving the gelatinous emulsion on film negatives around, thereby altering the resulting image that gets printed in the dark room.
In the end, the innovative photographer’s technique has produced a brilliant series of portraits that seem to be shredding themselves through the page. The artist’s meticulous manipulation presents the naked human form, often the photographer himself, as an expressive figure attacking and ripping itself apart. There are heavy themes of anxiety, depression, self-hate, and self-harm reflected in the powerful works.