Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Autonomous Body: the pictures of Michal Macku

Gellage No. 49
Gellage No. 5

Michal Macku makes me think of Abakanowicz and some of Beksinski's later works. Both of them are Polish - and Macku, Czech. He is quite Central-European, I suppose. There is this heaviness about the body, the despair, but a despair that becomes poetic, beautiful, that frees us from itself. He also reminds me of the Portuguese Helena Almeida in his plays with the form, the frame, the "content". But Almeida is much more conceptual, she likes lines, pure forms. Macku goes for the distortion, he seems attracted to the surrealist dream of an un-body, a body that outdoes itself, that lives an autonomous life. I suppose this could be a proof of the existence of the soul, through the negative: if we can imagine a living, functioning body without a soul, and it is different from who we are now, than we need something to describe what we are now. The technique Macku developed, which he called "gellage"(a collage using gelatin), leaves no doubt: this is not digital. This is all too real, we almost hear the fabric tear, we sense the bodies come together and seperate. Of course, one could do it digitally. But this once, let me stay with my old-fashioned analogical rhetoric.

You also need to see his newest type of work, "glass gellage", 3-dimensional glass installations. See the flash animation here.

(via the excellent Art of Love blog)

1 comment:

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